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Australian Market Declines

The Australian stock market is declining on Monday following the modest losses on Wall Street Friday amid worries about the impact of the U.S.-China trade war on the tech sector. Mining and oil stocks are among the leading decliners.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 21.30 points or 0.32 percent to 6,532.70, after touching a low of 6,529.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 19.80 points or 0.30 percent to 6,613.80. Australian stocks fluctuated before ending modestly higher on Friday.

In the mining space, Fortescue Metals is lower by almost 3 percent, Rio Tinto is losing more than 2 percent and BHP Group is declining more than 1 percent.

South32 said it has lowered the estimated coal reserves at its Illawarra Metallurgical project. The miner's shares are down almost 3 percent.

Gold miners are also weak after gold prices ended flat on Friday. Evolution Mining is declining more than 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is down more than 1 percent.

AGL Energy said it has withdrawn it's A$3.02 billion non-binding, indicative takeover proposal for internet provider Vocus Group, as it was no longer confident the deal will create value for its shareholders. Shares of AGL Energy are advancing more than 2 percent, while Vocus' shares are tumbling almost 31 percent.

In the tech sector, Afterpay Touch is losing almost 3 percent, while WiseTech Global is rising more than 2 percent.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank are higher in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent, while National Australia Bank is edging down 0.1 percent.

ANZ Banking's NZ chief executive David Hisco has left the bank after board members raised concerns about his personal expenses following an internal review. He has been replaced by Antonia Watson as CEO on an interim basis.

In the oil space, Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum are lower by 0.6 percent each, while Santos is losing more than 1 percent.

Cochlear said its Nucleus Profile Plus Series cochlear implant has received regulatory approval and will launch immediately in the U.S. The hearing device manufacturer's shares are adding 0.5 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6880, down from $0.6902 on Friday.

On Wall Street, tech stocks came under pressure on Friday after Broadcom reported better than expected fiscal second-quarter earnings, but lowered its full-year revenue guidance. Comments from Broadcom President and CEO Hock Tan led to renewed concerns about the impact of the U.S.-China trade dispute on the broader tech sector.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq underperformed its counterparts, ending the session down 40.47 points or 0.5 percent at 7,796.66. The Dow edged down 17.16 points or 0.1 percent to 26,089.61 and the S&P 500 dipped 4.66 points or 0.2 percent to 2,886.98.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Friday. While the German DAX Index slid by 0.6 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices rose on Friday amid an escalation in geopolitical tensions following the recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. WTI crude oil for July added $0.23 or about 0.4 percent to close at $52.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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