Australian Market Extends Losses

(RTTNews) - The Australian stock market is extending losses on Monday from the previous session, despite the positive cues from Wall Street Friday as worries about the surge in coronavirus cases in Australia and U.S.-China tensions weighed on sentiment.

Victoria has declared stage four lockdown restrictions after the state reported 671 new coronavirus cases and seven deaths on Sunday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is declining 29.30 points or 0.49 percent to 5,898.50, after touching a low of 5,860.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 29.70 points or 0.49 percent to 6,028.60. Australian stocks closed notably lower on Friday.

The big four banks - ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank - are lower n a range of 2.4 percent to 3.6 percent.

In the oil sector, Oil Search is losing almost 2 percent, while Woodside Petroleum and Santos are lower by more than 1 percent each, even as crude oil prices advanced on Friday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group is adding 0.6 percent, while Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are edging up 0.1 percent each.

Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining is advancing almost 1 percent and Evolution Mining is up 0.2 percent after gold prices rose on Friday.

Telstra said that a major outage that upset home internet services in Australia's eastern states on Sunday was caused by domain name server issues, after earlier claiming the outage was caused by a "malicious" cyber attack on its servers. The telecom giant's shares are up 0.2 percent.

On the economic front, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed that the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in Australia, and at a faster pace, with a seasonally adjusted Performance of Manufacturing Index score of 53.5. That's up from 51.5 in June and it moves further above the boom-or0bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Friday in a volatile session, partly reflecting a positive reaction to better than expected quarterly results from several leading technology companies such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. The upbeat tech earnings news seemed to overshadow concerns about stalled negotiations over a new coronavirus stimulus package. With the Republican-controlled Senate adjourning for the weekend on Thursday, a $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit is set to expire at the end of the day.

After falling as much as 300 points, the Dow ended the day up 114.67 points or 0.4 percent at 26,428.32. The Nasdaq surged up 157.46 points or 1.5 percent to 10,745.27 and the S&P 500 climbed 24.90 points or 0.8 percent at 3,271.12.

The major European markets moved to the downside on Friday. While the German DAX Index slid by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index tumbled by 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures closed higher on Friday, bouncing back from losses in the previous session, buoyed by a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that said oil production fell sharply in May. WTI crude for September delivery rose $0.35 or about 0.9 percent to $40.27 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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