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Australian Market Declines

The Australian stock market is declining on Monday despite the rebound on Wall Street Friday, as worries about the ongoing U.S.-China trade war weighed on investor sentiment. In addition, weak earnings results from Commonwealth Bank pulled down banking stocks.

The U.S. hiked the tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on Friday after the two countries failed to reach a trade deal by a midnight deadline.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 21.90 points or 0.35 percent to 6,289.00, after touching a low of 6,277.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 20.10 points or 0.31 percent to 6,373.00. Australian shares closed modestly higher on Friday.

The big four banks are weak. Commonwealth Bank reported a decline in its third-cash profit after it set aside another A$714 million as provisioning for customer remediation and responding to the royal commission. The bank's shares are losing almost 3 percent.

ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank and Westpac are lower in a range of 0.6 percent to 0.9 percent, while Macquarie Group's shares are down 0.8 percent. Shares of ANZ and Macquarie Group are trading ex-dividend.

The major miners are also weak. BHP Group is declining 0.5 percent, Fortescue Metals is down 0.4 percent and Rio Tinto is edging down 0.1 percent.

Oil stocks are declining after crude oil prices edged lower on Friday and declined further in Asian trading Monday. Oil Search is losing almost 2 percent, Santos is lower by almost 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is down 0.5 percent.

Bucking the trend, gold miners are advancing after gold prices rose on Friday. Evolution Mining is rising 0.6 percent and Newcrest Mining is adding 0.5 percent.

Shares of Reliance Worldwide Corp. are falling almost 17 percent after the company said it lowered its full-year earnings outlook due to the impact of lower sales following a "modest freeze event" in the southern U.S.

Troubled fleet leaser Eclipx Group said it has received interest from several parties for its two under-performing businesses - auction site GraysOnline and accident loan car provider Right2Drive - despite these segments accounting for impairments in the company's upcoming interim results. Shares of Eclipx Group are losing almost 6 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6980, down from $0.6994 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks rebounded strongly on Friday after initially coming under pressure amid renewed concerns about the impact of a U.S.-China trade war after President Donald Trump followed through on his threat to raise tariffs on Chinese imports. The recovery came after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrapped up a second day of trade talks, calling the discussions "constructive."

The Dow climbed 114.01 points or 0.4 percent to 25,942.37, the Nasdaq inched up 6.35 points or 0.1 percent to 7,916.94 and the S&P 500 rose 10.68 points or 0.4 percent to 2,881.40.

The major European markets turned mixed over the course of the session on Friday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index dipped by 0.1 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent and the German DAX Index climbed by 0.7 percent.

Crude oil pared early gains to close lower on Friday amid fears of a prolonged trade war between the world's two largest economies. WTI crude for June dipped $0.04 to close at $61.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil prices are down a further 0.5 percent in Asian trades Monday.

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