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Australian Market Modestly Lower

The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Monday, extending its losing streak to an eighth straight session, following the negative cues from Wall Street Friday amid continued worries about U.S.-China trade tensions as upbeat U.S. jobs data reinforced expectations of a rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve later this month.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 11.90 points or 0.19 percent to 6,131.90, off a low of 6,123.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 10.40 points or 0.17 percent to 6,241.90.

Mining stocks are weak despite steady iron ore pries as well as slightly higher copper prices. Fortescue Metals is losing almost 2 percent, Rio Tinto declining more than 1 percent and BHP Billiton is down almost 1 percent.

Shares of gold and base metals explorer Explaurum are surging almost 42 percent after gold miner Ramelius Resources made a takeover bid for the company. Ramelius' shares are losing more than 3 percent.

In the banking sector, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are down in a range of 0.5 percent to 0.7 percent.

Oil stocks are also mostly weak after crude oil prices declined for a third straight day on Friday. Santos is lower by more than 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is down 0.2 percent, while Oil Search is adding 0.5 percent.

Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining is rising 1 percent, while Evolution Mining is lower by almost 1 percent after gold prices ended lower on Friday.

Investa Office Fund has set next Monday as the date for its shareholders to vote on U.S. private equity giant Blackstone Group's sweetened takeover bid of A$3.3 billion.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7115, down from $0.7152 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed modestly lower on Friday amid ongoing trade concerns after President Donald Trump suggested he may impose tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods. Trading earlier in the day was impacted by reaction to a closely watched Labor Department report showing stronger than expected job growth in the month of August that reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this month.

The Dow fell 79.33 points or 0.3 percent to 25,916.54, the Nasdaq dipped 20.18 points or 0.3 percent to 7,902.54 and the S&P 500 slipped 6.37 points or 0.2 percent to 2,871.68.

The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Friday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index closed marginally higher and the French CAC 40 Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices declined marginally on Friday, as concerns about possible drop in demand due to trade war tensions slightly outweighed recent data showing a fall in crude stockpiles. WTI crude for October delivery edged down $0.02 to settle at $67.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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