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Australian Market Declines

The Australian stock market is declining on Wednesday after three straight days of gains, following the weak cues overnight from Wall Street amid worries about the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 55.00 points or 0.83 percent to 6,538.40, after falling to a low of 6,520.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 54.30 points or 0.81 percent to 6,659.40. Australian stocks closed higher for the third straight day on Tuesday.

Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals is lower by almost 2 percent, while BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are declining more than 1 percent each.

The big four banks - National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac - are losing in a range of 0.6 percent to 1.3 percent.

Commonwealth Bank said it plans to raise A$750 million through a note offering and use the net proceeds to fund its business.

Oil stocks are weak after crude oil prices ended lower overnight. Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search are lower by more than 1 percent, while Santos is down 0.7 percent.

Telstra said it will shut down its 3G network in June 2024 to make room for its 4G and 5G coverage. The telecom giant's shares are down 0.2 percent.

Bucking the trend, gold miner Evolution Mining is rising more than 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is advancing more than 1 percent after gold prices rebounded in electronic trading after ending the regular session slightly lower.

In economic news, Australia will see October numbers for the consumer confidence index from Westpac Bank today.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6729, down from $0.6751 on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply lower on Tuesday following news the Trump administration imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials over abuses of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region. Optimism about the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks had already waned after a report from the South China Morning Post said China is subtly toning down expectations ahead of this week's negotiations.

The Dow slumped 313.98 points or 1.2 percent to 26,164.04, the Nasdaq plunged 132.52 points or 1.7 percent to 7,823.78 and the S&P 500 tumbled 45.73 points or 1.6 percent to 2,893.06.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Tuesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.8 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Tuesday as fading optimism about U.S.-China trade talks weighed on prospects for near term energy demand. WTI crude for November ended down $0.12, or about 0.2 percent, at $52.63 a barrel.

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