Australian Market Modestly Higher

(RTTNews) - The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Thursday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 7,200 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, with gains in technology, energy and financial stocks partially offset by losses in mining stocks.

Traders also welcomed softer than expected headline inflation data in Australia that raised hopes the Reserve Bank of Australia will pause interest rate hikes next week.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 15.90 points or 0.22 percent to 7,212.40, after touching a high of 7,220.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 17.00 points or 0.23 percent to 7,401.10. Australian stocks ended significantly higher on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are losing almost 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is edging down 0.5 percent and Mineral Resources is down more than 1 percent.

Oil stocks are higher. Santos is gaining almost 1 percent, while Beach energy, Origin Energy and Woodside Energy are edging up 0.1 to 0.2 percent each.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block and Xero are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Appen is adding almost 3 percent and WiseTech Global is advancing more than 2 percent, while Zip is losing more than 1 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is gaining more than 1 percent, Commonwealth Bank is up almost 1 percent, ANZ Banking is adding almost 2 percent and Westpac is edging up 0.4 percent.

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources, Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining are losing almost 1 percent each, while Resolute Mining is down more than 1 percent and Gold Road Resources is declining almost 2 percent. In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.662 on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance over the course of the trading session on Wednesday after an early move to the downside. The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed.

While the Nasdaq pulled back well off its best levels of the day, the tech-heavy index still closed up 36.08 points or 0.3 percent at 13,591.75. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 edged down 1.55 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 4,376.86 and the Dow dipped 74.08 points or 0.2 percent to 33,852.66.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.0 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday as data showed a sharp drop in U.S. crude stockpiles in the week ended June 23rd. The dollar's rise on upbeat economic data, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell's remarks about interest rates capped oil's gains. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended higher by $1.86 or about 2.8 percent at $69.56 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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