Australian Market Declines
(RTTNews) - The Australian stock market is declining on Wednesday, despite the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, as Qantas Airways announced more job cuts to offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Investors also turned cautious after Victoria reported a surge in the coronavirus daily death toll.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 51.50 points or 0.84 percent to 6,109.90, after touching a low of 6,103.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is lower by 44.20 points or 0.70 percent to 6,287.70. Australian stocks closed higher for a second straight day on Tuesday.
The big four banks - ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac - are lower in a range of 1.3 percent to 1.9 percent.
Gold miners are also declining after safe-haven gold prices extended losses overnight. Newcrest Mining is lower by more than 1 percent and Evolution Mining is losing almost 1 percent.
The major miners are mostly weak. Rio Tinto is lower by more than 1 percent and BHP Group is down almost 1 percent, while Fortescue Metals is adding almost 1 percent.
Meanwhile, oil stocks are mostly higher as crude oil prices rose overnight. Oil Search is rising more than 2 percent and Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.5 percent, while Santos is lower by almost 2 percent.
Qantas Airways is facing calls from the Transport Workers Union to repay taxpayer-funded subsidies as it cuts another 2400 jobs, on top of the 6000 job cuts announced by the airline earlier in June. Shares of Qantas are losing more than 3 percent.
Whispir reported a narrower-than-expected underlying loss for the full year, its first as a listed company, while revenue grew 25 percent. However, the cloud-based communications platform's shares are losing almost 12 percent.
In economic news, Australia will today provide second-quarter numbers for construction work done.
On Wall Street, stocks closed mostly higher on Tuesday with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 climbing to new record closing highs. The Dow closed modestly lower as Exxon Mobil, Raytheon and Pfizer moved notably lower following news they are being removed from the blue chip index. The three stocks will be replaced by Salesforce.com, Honeywell, and Amgen. Traders were also looking ahead to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech to the Jackson Hole symposium on Thursday.
The Dow climbed well off its worst levels of the day but still finished the session down 60.02 points or 0.2 percent at 28,248.44. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq advanced 86.75 points or 0.8 percent to 11,466.47 and the S&P 500 rose 12.34 points or 0.4 percent to 3,443.62.
The major European markets closed mixed on Tuesday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index tumbled by 1.1 percent, while the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both ended the session nearly unchanged.
Crude oil prices rose on Tuesday, fueled by storm-driven production cuts on the U.S. Gulf Coast as traders look ahead to weekly inventory data. WTI crude for October delivery climbed $0.73 or 1.7 percent to $43.35 a barrel.
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