Australian Market Advances

(RTTNews) - The Australian market is advancing on Friday as investors shrugged off the negative cues overnight from Wall Street amid renewed political uncertainty in the U.S. Optimism about U.S.-China trade talks helped boost sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 36.50 points or 0.55 percent to 6,714.10, after rising to a high of 6,716.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is rising 36.00 points or 0.53 percent to 6,821.60. Australian stocks closed lower on Thursday.

The major miners are higher. Fortescue Metals is advancing almost 1 percent, BHP Billiton is adding 0.4 percent and Rio Tinto is up 0.2 percent.

The big four banks - ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac - are advancing in a range of 0.4 percent to 0.7 percent.

Oil stocks are also mostly higher despite crude oil prices edging lower overnight. Woodside Petroleum is rising 0.5 percent and Santos is edging up 0.1 percent, while Oil Search is lower by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, gold miners Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining are declining almost 1 percent each even as gold prices edged higher overnight.

Yowie Group has been forced into an impairment of A$741 thousand after the chocolate maker's assets were found to be worth more than it's market capitalization of A$16 million. As a result, the company's net loss for the year to June 30 has now widened from the prior year. The chocolate maker's shares are unchanged.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is almost flat against the U.S. dollar on Friday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6751, compared to $0.6752 on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed moderately lower on Thursday amid renewed political uncertainty following the release of the whistleblower complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The document outlines concerns about Trump "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election."

The Dow fell 79.59 points or 0.3 percent to 26,891.12, the Nasdaq slid 46.72 points or 0.6 percent to 8,030.66 and the S&P 500 dipped 7.25 points or 0.2 percent to 2,977.62.

The major European markets moved to the upside on Thursday. While the German DAX Index rose by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures pared losses and ended just marginally down on Thursday, as traders continued to weigh global crude demand and supply positions. WTI crude for November delivery edged down $0.08 or less than 0.1 percent to $56.41 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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