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Australian Market Declines

The Australian stock market is declining on Friday after four straight days of gains, following the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street as investors turned cautious ahead of the release of the closely-watched U.S. jobs report for May later today.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is down 8.30 points or 0.14 percent to 5,983.50, after touching a low of 5963.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is lower by 8.20 points or 0.13 percent to 6,103.80. Australian stocks closed higher for a fourth day on Thursday.

Gold miners are weak even as gold prices snapped a four-day losing streak and rose overnight. Evolution Mining is losing more than 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is lower by 0.3 percent.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is adding 0.2 percent and BHP is edging up 0.1 percent, while Fortescue Metals is declining almost 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the big four banks are rising. National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac 1.2 are higher in a range of 1.1 percent to 1.6 percent, while Commonwealth Bank is adding 0.6 percent.

In the oil sector, Oil Search is gaining more than 3 percent, Santos is advancing almost 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.6 percent after crude oil prices edged higher overnight.

Kogan.com reported a surge in sales during the months of April and May, benefiting from a jump in online spending amid the COVID-19 shutdown. The online shopping trader's shares are gaining more than 9 percent.

On the economic front, Australia will see May results for the Performance of Service Index from the Australian Industry Group today.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Friday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6942, compared to Thursday's close of $0.6890.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed in choppy trading on Thursday as traders took a breath to digest the recent strength in the markets, which lifted the Nasdaq-100 to a record intraday high in early trading. Traders also seemed reluctant to make more significant moves ahead of the release of the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday. Economists currently expect employment to tumble by about 8.0 million jobs in May after plunging by 20.5 million jobs in April. The unemployment rate is expected to jump to 19.8 percent from 14.7 percent.

While the Dow inched up 11.93 points or 0.1 percent to a three-month closing high of 26,281.82, the Nasdaq slid 67.10 points or 0.7 percent to 9,615.81 and the S&P 500 fell 10.52 points or 0.3 percent to 3,112.35.

The major European markets moved to the downside on Thursday. While the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices edged higher on Thursday after data showed leading oil producers were in compliance with agreed production cuts. WTI crude oil for July delivery inched up $0.12 or about 0.3 percent to $37.41 a barrel.

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