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Australian Market Advances Ahead Of RBA Decision

The Australian stock market is advancing on Tuesday despite the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street, with stocks gaining across the board.

Investors are looking ahead to the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy decision due later in the day. The RBA is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at the record low of 1.50 percent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 35.50 points or 0.61percent to 5,853.60, off a high of 5,861.70. The broader All Ordinaries Index is rising 33.00 points or 0.56 percent to 5,937.80. Australian shares finished lower on Monday to snap a six-day winning streak.

The major miners are mostly higher after iron ore prices rose overnight. Rio Tinto is rising more than 1 percent and BHP is advancing almost 1 percent, while Fortescue Metals is down 0.5 percent.

Gold miners are also advancing despite gold prices edging lower. Newcrest Mining is rising more than 1 percent and Evolution Mining is adding 0.7 percent.

Oil stocks are also higher as crude oil prices were almost flat overnight. Santos and Woodside Petroleum are advancing almost 2 percent each, while Oil Search is adding more than 1 percent.

In the banking space, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are up in a range of 0.8 percent to 1.2 percent.

Commonwealth Bank, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, and Link Administration Holdings have agreed to buy Property Exchange Australia or PEXA in a deal that values the online property settlements company at about A$1.6 billion. Shares of Link Administration are advancing almost 2 percent.

ResMed has agreed to acquire U.S.-based healthcare software company MatrixCare for $750 million to expand its software-as-a-service portfolio. However, shares of the sleep apnea device specialist are losing more than 1 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7209, up from $0.7193 on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Monday as Apple extended the sell-off seen in the previous session after Japan's Nikkei newspaper reported that demand for the company's iPhone XR appears to be disappointing. Online retail giant Amazon also came under pressure after President Donald Trump told Axios his administration is looking into antitrust violations by the company.

Overall trading was somewhat subdued, however, with traders reluctant to make significant moves ahead of Tuesday's highly anticipated midterm elections, which will decide control of both the House and Senate.

The Nasdaq climbed off its worst levels but still closed down 28.14 points or 0.4 percent at 7,328.85. The Dow advanced 190.87 points or 0.8 percent to 25,461.70 and the S&P 500 climbed 15.25 points or 0.6 percent to 2,738.31.

The major European markets also turned in a mixed performance on Monday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged and the German DAX Index edged down by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices edged lower on Monday as new U.S. sanctions against Iran's oil and financial sectors went into effect following President Donald Trump's controversial decision in May to abandon the multi-nation nuclear deal with Tehran. WTI crude for December dipped $0.04, or less than 0.1 percent to close at $63.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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