The Australian market is trading moderately lower on Monday with investors indulging in fairly heavy selling across the board, tracking cues from Wall Street where stocks tumbled on Friday amid lingering worries about the global economy. The release of some key first tier data such the retail sales and the New York Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey from the U.S. overnight might introduce some caution among traders.
With several key stocks from across various sectors reeling under selling pressure, all the sectoral indices are down in negative territory at present.
Mining, information technology and consumer discretionary stocks are mostly down with notable losses. Energy, financial and healthcare stocks are also trading weak.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is trading at 4,301, down 22.40 points from its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is down 23.80 points at 4,381
Among bank stocks, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac are down 0.3 to 0.5 percent, while ANZ Bank is up marginally. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queensland are down 1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
Among top miners, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals and Newcrest Mining are down 0.7 to 1.3 percent.
In the energy sector, Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search and Origin Energy are down 0.6 to 1 percent while Santos and Caltex Australia are up marginally.
Iluka Resources, APA Group, Perseus Mining, Sims Metal Management, Paladin Energy, Fairfax Media and Resmed Inc are down 2 to 3 percent.
Aquarius Platinum, Campbell Brothers, Treasury Wine Estates, Macquarie Group, Onesteel, Incitec Pivot, Investa Office Fund, Ramsay Healthcare and Sonic Healthcare also trading notably lower.
Dexus Property Group has announced that it will be selling 65 properties in the United States for A$746.16 million. The sale price is in line with the book value of the properties, Dexus said. The company will use the proceeds of the sale the 65 factories to buy back up to A$200 million worth of its shares, and pay off some of its debt. The stock is trading 1 percent down.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan, Singapore and South Korea are trading notably lower. New Zealand and Malaysia are down with modest losses, while Shanghai is trading in positive territory. Markets across the region ended higher on Friday.
On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply lower on Friday, giving back some ground after posting strong gains in the two previous sessions. Renewed concerns about corporate earnings and the global economy contributed to the weakness in the markets.
The Dow slid 137 points or 1.1 percent to 12,849.6, the Nasdaq tumbled 44.2 points or 1.5 percent to 3,011.3 and the S&P 500 ended down 17.3 points or 1.3 percent at 1,370.3.
Major European markets too ended sharply lower on Friday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index lost 1 percent, the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index tumbled by 2.4 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.
by RTT Staff Writer
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