The Australian market is trading notably lower on Friday with investors resorting to fairly heavy selling across the board following a weak lead from Wall Street where stocks tumbled overnight amid a slew of weak U.S. economic data.
Mining and energy stocks are leading the fall. Several stocks from financial, industrial and consumer discretionary sections are also trading notably lower.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index is down 42.8 points or 1 percent at 4,044.8. The broader All Ordinaries index is trading at 4,090.9, down 42.8 points or 1 percent from its previous close.
Among top miners, BHP Billiton is down 2.6 percent, Rio Tinto is trading lower by 2.3 percent and Newcrest Mining is down with a loss of 3.7 percent.
Among energy stocks, Santos is down 2.5 percent, Oil Search is losing about 2.3 percent, Caltex Australia is down with a loss of 1.6 percent and Origin Energy is down 0.6 percent.
Woodside Petroleum shares are trading 1.6 percent down. Meanwhile, Woodside Petroleum has let lapse a supply agreement for its Browse project worth up to A$45 billion. Woodside said the agreement with CPC Corp. of Taiwan, signed in November 2007, was allowed to expire on June 21 with the agreement of both companies.
In the banking space, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac are down 0.4 to 1.2 percent. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queensland are also trading notably lower.
Perseus Mining is trading 4.8 percent down. Bluescope Stee, Sims Metal Management, Panaust, Boart Longyear, Regis Resources and Iluka Resources are all trading lower by 3 to 4 percent.
Aurora Oil & Gas, Onesteel, Seek, Whitehaven Coal, Oz Minerals, QBE Insurance and Challenger are also all trading lower by 2 to 3 percent.
On Wall Street, stocks plunged sharply on Thursday with traders pressing heavy sales following the release of a batch of disappointing U.S. economic data.
The major averages ended the session just off their worst levels of the day. The Dow plummeted 250.8 points or 2 percent to 12,573.6, the Nasdaq tumbled 71.4 points or 2.4 percent to 2,859.1 and the S&P 500 plunged 30.2 points or 2.2 percent to 1,325.5.
Major European markets too ended weak on Thursday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index tumbled 1 percent, the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index lost 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil futures plunged 4 percent to below $80 a barrel Thursday, settling at its lowest since early October 2011. Oil slipped on demand concerns after some weak economic data from China and U.S., coupled with a strengthening dollar.
Oil prices were also impacted by the more-than-expected U.S. crude oil stockpile increase last week. Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for August delivery, the new front-month contract, dropped $3.25 or 4 percent to close at $78.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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