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Australian Market Notably Lower

The Australian stock market is notably lower on Wednesday following the sharp losses overnight on Wall Street amid fears of an upcoming economic slowdown and lingering worries about U.S.-China trade. Weak Australian GDP data also dampened investor sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 73.80 points or 1.29 percent to 5,639.30, after falling to a low of 5,610.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 74.80 points or 1.29 percent to 5,722.70. Australian stocks succumbed to profit taking on Tuesday after the previous session's sharp jump.

In the banking sector, ANZ Banking, Westpac, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank are lower in a range of 1.4 percent to 1.7 percent.

Oil stocks are also weak despite a modest increase in crude oil prices overnight. Santos is down almost 1 percent, Woodside Petroleum declining more than 1 percent and Oil Search losing more than 2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major miners are mostly higher. Rio Tinto is advancing almost 1 percent and BHP is adding 0.4 percent, while Fortescue Metals is declining almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are mixed even as gold prices rose overnight. Evolution Mining is down 0.3 percent, while Newcrest Mining is adding almost 1 percent.

Shares of rare minerals miner Lynas Corp. are tumbling more than 17 percent after tough new conditions were announced for the company's license to operate in Malaysia.

In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that Australia's gross domestic product was up a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2018. That missed expectations for an increase of 0.6 percent and was down from 0.9 percent in the second quarter.

The latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed that the service sector in Australia continued to expand in November, and at a sharply faster rate, with a Performance of Service Index score of 55.1. That's up from 51.1 in October, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7344, down from $0.7370 on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply lower on Tuesday as the yield on two-year notes rose above the yield on five-year notes, seen as an indicator of an upcoming economic slowdown. Profit taking also contributed to the sell-off following the strong gains posted on Monday in reaction to the trade war truce reached by President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Dow plunged 799.36 points or 3.1 percent to 25,027.07, the Nasdaq tumbled 283.09 points or 3.8 percent to 7,158.43 and the S&P 500 slumped 90.31 points or 3.2 percent to 2,700.06.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Tuesday. The German DAX Index slumped by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.8 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil prices rose modestly on Tuesday amid speculation the OPEC members, scheduled to meet in Vienna on December 6, will agree on a production cut. WTI crude for January delivery rose $0.30 or 0.6 percent to close at $53.25 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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