(RTTNews.com) - The Australian stock market is extending its losing streak on Friday following another mixed performance on Wall Street amid worries about a possible escalation in the U.S.-China trade war later in the day. Oil stocks are among the leading decliners.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 57.40 points or 0.93 percent to 6,103.00. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 55.60 points or 0.89 percent to 6,212.20.
Oil stocks are weak after crude oil prices extended losses overnight. Woodside Petroleum is down almost 2 percent, Oil Search is declining more than 2 percent and Santos is lower by almost 3 percent.
Mining stocks are mostly higher. Fortescue Metals is advancing more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is adding 0.4 percent, while BHP Billiton is down almost 1 percent after its shares went ex-dividend.
Gold miner Newcrest Mining is rising almost 1 percent and peer Evolution Mining is adding 0.2 percent after gold prices extended gains overnight.
In the banking sector, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking are higher in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent, while Westpac is down 0.2 percent.
The Fair Work Ombudsman said that Domino's Pizza has been hit with 17 formal cautions by and could face further action if it is found to be underpaying employees. However, the company's shares are rising more than 3 percent.
James Hardie Industries announced that president of international operations Jack Truong will succeed Louis Gries as its chief executive. The building parts supplier's shares are declining more than 1 percent.
On the economic front, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed that the construction sector in Australia continued to expand in August, albeit at a slower pace, with a Performance of Construction Index score of 51.8. That's down from 52.0 in July, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
Australia will also release July figures for home loans later today.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Friday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7187, up from $0.7169 on Thursday.
On Wall Street, stocks closed mostly lower on Thursday, extending the decline seen over the two previous sessions amid weakness in technology stocks. The release of a slew of U.S. economic data, including a report from payroll processor ADP showing private sector employment rose by less than expected in the month of August also weighed on the markets.
While the Dow inched up 20.88 points or 0.1 percent to 25,995.87, the Nasdaq slumped 72.45 points or 0.9 percent to 7,922.73 and the S&P 500 fell 10.55 points or 0.4 percent at 2,878.05.
The major European markets also moved lower on Thursday. While the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'sFTSE 100 Index slid by 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices fell on Thursday as traders weighed the possibility of a drop in demand for crude due to U.S.-China trade tensions and the current economic turmoil in some emerging markets. Crude for October delivery slumped $0.95 or 1.4 percent to $67.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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