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Australian Market Rises Ahead Of RBA Decision

The Australian stock market is rising on Tuesday following the positive cues overnight from Wall Street on upbeat U.S. economic data and on hopes of an economic recovery in China.

Investors now look ahead to the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy decision later today. The RBA is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at a record low of 0.25 percent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is advancing 55.80 points or 0.93 percent to 6,070.40, after touching a high of 6,077.30 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 62.20 points or 1.02 percent to 6,188.10. Australian stocks ended a four-day winning streak and closed modestly lower on Monday.

Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals is gaining more than 4 percent, BHP Group is advancing more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is adding almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are also higher after gold prices settled at a nearly 1-week high overnight. Newcrest Mining is advancing almost 2 percent and Evolution Mining is adding more than 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Santos is declining 0.6 percent and Woodside Petroleum is down 0.2 percent, while Oil Search is up 0.3 percent after crude oil prices ended almost flat overnight.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking, Westpac and National Australia Bank are all rising 0.4 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is edging down 0.1 percent.

Downer EDI said it has won contracts worth A$420 million, which are for a maximum term of 13 years, to maintain roads in South Australia's Metropolitan Zone and Regional North Zone. The engineering contractor's shares are rising more than 1 percent.

Dexus said it has acquired a Ford distribution centre in Victoria and an industrial site in Sydney for A$173.5 million, taking its industrial property portfolio to over A$5 billion. The developer's shares are adding 0.3 percent.

Afterpay said it is raising A$800 million through a share sale, consisting of an institutional placement worth A$650 million and a share purchase plan for retail shareholders worth A$150 million. The e-commerce provider's shares are in a trading halt pending completion of the institutional sale.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is almost unchanged against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6975, compared to $0.6972 on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Monday after Chinese shares skyrocketed on the day amid positive commentary on the market from state media. Traders also remain generally optimistic about the U.S. economic outlook following last Thursday's better-than-expected jobs data. In the latest sign of the rapid economic recovery, the Institute for Supply Management released a report showing a substantial turnaround in U.S. service sector activity in the month of June.

The Nasdaq soared 226.02 points or 2.2 percent to 10,433.65, the Dow surged up 459.67 points or 1.8 percent to 26,287.03 and the S&P 500 jumped 49.71 points or 1.6 percent to 3,179.72.

The major European markets also showed strong moves to the upside on Monday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 2.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index rallied by 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures settled slightly lower on Monday after swinging between gains and losses as traders weighed energy demand prospects and fears of another lockdown amid a surge in new coronavirus cases across the globe. WTI crude oil for August delivery edged down $0.02 to $40.63 a barrel.

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