Australian Market Notably Lower

The Australian stock market is notably lower on Monday following the negative cues from Wall Street Friday amid a sharp surge in new coronavirus infections in several U.S. states and as the Federal Reserve ordered certain banks to cap dividends and suspend share buyback to conserve funds.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 102.30 points or 1.73 percent to 5,801.80, off a low of 5,786.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is lower by 103.50 points or 1.72 percent to 5,908.30. Australian stocks closed higher on Friday.

Oil stocks are weak after crude oil prices dipped on Friday. Oil Search is losing more than 4 percent, Santos is lower by almost 4 percent and Woodside Petroleum is declining more than 3 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is losing more than 3 percent, while ANZ Banking and Westpac are lower by almost 3 percent each. Commonwealth Bank is declining more than 2 percent.

Among the major miners, BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are all declining more than 2 percent each.

Bucking the trend, gold miners are higher after gold prices rose Friday on safe-haven demand. Evolution Mining is higher by almost 3 percent and Newcrest Mining is rising almost 2 percent.

Ampol said it has appointed Matthew Halliday, who has been its interim chief after the retirement of Julian Segal in March, as its permanent CEO and managing director. The refining and fuel retailer's shares are lower by more than 1 percent.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare reported a 37 percent surge in full-year profit amid a jump in demand for respiratory as well as home care products due to the coronavirus pandemic and also raised its final dividend. The health equipment provider's shares are gaining almost 4 percent.

Spanish utility Iberdrola has raised its takeover offer for Australian wind farm operator Infigen Energy to A$0.89 per share, after rival bidder UAC, a unit of Philippines conglomerate Ayala Corp, raised its offer to A$0.86 per share. Shares of Infigen Energy are rising more than 2 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6861, compared to $0.6883 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply lower on Friday following a sharp surge in new coronavirus infections in several states. Banking stocks turned lower after the Federal Reserve released the results of its stress tests on banks and ordered certain banks to cap dividends and suspend share buyback to conserve funds. Disappointing earnings report from Nike also hurt sentiment.

The Dow plunged 730.05 points or 2.84 percent to settle at 25,015.55, registering its steepest fall in two weeks. The Nasdaq slid 259.78 points or 2.59 percent to 9,757.22 and the S&P 500 tumbled 74.71 points or 2.42 percent to 3,009.05.

The major European markets also closed mostly lower on Friday. Germany's DAX shed 0.73 percent and France's CAC 40 slid 0.18 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE rose 0.2 percent.

Crude oil futures settled lower on Friday, weighed down by concerns over energy demand outlook in the wake of sharp spikes in new coronavirus infections in several states in the U.S. WTI crude for August declined $0.23 or about 0.6 percent at $38.49 a barrel.

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