The Australian stock market is trading lower on Wednesday with investors pressing sales, following a weak lead from the U.S. and European markets where stocks tumbled overnight amid worries about the eurozone economy.
The decision of the Australian government to scrap a promised reduction in the company tax rate also appears to be weighing on sentiment to a notable extent.
Energy, mining and industrial stocks are mostly trading notably lower. Financial, consumer discretionary and property trusts stocks are also trading weak.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is down 40.1 points or 0.9 percent at 4,274.2. The broader All Ordinaries index is trading at 4,334, down 41.9 points or 1 percent from its previous close.
Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank are down 0.5 to 0.7 percent, while Westpac is down marginally. Bank of Queensland is trading flat and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is down 0.8 percent.
Among top miners, BHP Billiton is down 0.7 percent, Rio Tinto is losing about 1.6 percent and Fortescue Metals is trading lower by 0.6 percent, while Newcrest Mining is down with a loss of 3.5 percent.
In the energy sector, Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Oil Search are down 2.3 to 2.5 percent, while Origin Energy and Caltex Australia are trading lower by 1.2 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
Aquarius Platinum is down more than 6 percent. Iluka Resources, Perseus Mining, Lynas Corporation, Atlas Iron and Paladin Energy are trading lower by 4 to 5.3 percent.
Panaust, Fairfax Media, Boart Longyear, Campbell Brothers, Onesteel, Incitec Pivot, Sims Metal Management, QR National, Seek and Regis Resources are down 2 to 3.5 percent.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan are trading notably lower, while Malaysia and New Zealand are down marginally. Markets across the region turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday.
On Wall Street, stocks ended with moderate losses on Tuesday despite coming off their worst levels of the day. Worries about the political and financial situation in Europe weighed on sentiment.
The Dow ended down 76.4 points or 0.6 percent at 12,932.1, the Nasdaq drifted down by 11.5 points or 0.4 percent to 2,946.3 and the S&P 500 settled lower by 5.9 points or 0.4 percent at 1,363.7.
Major European markets ended sharply lower on Tuesday. While the French CAC 40 index plunged 2.8 percent, the German DAX index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index lost 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil futures settled at a three-month low on Tuesday, with a stronger dollar and demand concerns contributing to the fall. Crude for June delivery dropped $0.93 or 1 percent to close at $97.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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