Australian Market Slightly Lower

(RTTNews) - Giving up some of the gains in the previous two sessions, the Australian stock market is slightly lower on Thursday, following the mixed cues from global markets overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is staying above the 7,000 mark, with a mixed performance across most sectors as traders reacted to a batch of domestic economic data.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 5.90 points or 0.08 percent to 7,029.40, after hitting a low of 7,027.00 and a high of 7,047.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 6.60 points or 0.09 percent to 7,239.20. Australian markets ended modestly higher on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are edging down 0.1 to 0.2 percent each, while Mineral Resources is losing almost 1 percent. Fortescue Metals is gaining almost 1 percent. Oil stocks are mixed. Santos and Beach energy are edging up 0.3 percent each, while Woodside Energy is edging down 0.3 percent. Origin Energy is losing more than 2 percent after it rejected the 'plan B' proposal by its suitors, Canada's Brookfield and its private equity partner EIG.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is gaining almost 1 percent and Zip is adding more than 1 percent, while Appen is declining more than 5 percent and WiseTech Global is edging down 0.3 percent. Xero is flat.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are edging up 0.2 to 0.3 percent each, while National Australia Bank is gaining almost 1 percent. Gold miners are mostly lower. Northern Star Resources and Evolution Mining are losing almost 1 percent each, while Gold Road Resources is declining more than 1 percent. Resolute Mining is gaining more than 1 percent and Newmont is edging up 0.5 percent.

In other news, shares in Iress are soaring more than 13 percent after the financial services and data firm upgraded its earnings guidance for financial year 2023.

In economic news, total new capital expenditure in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2023, the Australian Bureau of Statistics or ABS said on Thursday - coming in at A$39.907 billion. That missed expectations for an increase of 1.0 percent following the 2.8 percent expansion in the previous three months. On a yearly basis, capex rose 10.7 percent.

The ABS also said the total number of building permits issued in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 7.5 percent on month in October, standing at 14,223. That beat forecasts for an increase of 1.4 percent following the 4.0 percent decline in September. On a yearly basis, permits were down 6.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia said total private sector credit in Australia was up 0.3 percent on month in October, slowing from 0.5 percent in September. On a yearly basis, total credit was up 4.8 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.663 on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Wednesday after ending the previous session modestly higher. Despite the choppy trading on the day, the Dow inched up to its best closing level in over three months.

The major averages eventually ended the day narrowly mixed. While the Dow crept up 13.44 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 35,430.42, the Nasdaq slipped 23.27 points or 0.2 percent to 14,258.49 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.31 points or 0.1 percent to 4,550.58.

The major European markets also ended mixed on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index edged up by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index jumped by 1.1 percent.

Crude oil prices showed another strong move to the upside on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session ahead of a key OPEC meeting later today. West Texas Intermediate for January delivery jumped $1.45 or 1.9 percent to $77.86 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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