Australian Market Modestly Lower

The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Wednesday, giving up the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 below the 7,400 level, following the broadly negative cues overnight from Wall Street, as materials, financial and energy stocks dragging the market, even as the domestic coronavirus situation remains a concern, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria.

NSW recorded 1,259 new local cases and 12 deaths on Tuesday. Victoria has recorded 423 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths, with 4,038 total active cases of coronavirus across Victoria.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 49.60 points or 0.67 percent to 7,387.70, after hitting a low of 7,478.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 46.40 points or 0.60 percent to 7,693.90. Australian stocks ended slightly higher on Tuesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and OZ Minerals are losing more than 2 percent each, while Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are down almost 1 percent each. Mineral Resources is flat.

Oil stocks are lower. Woodside Petroleum is losing more than 1 percent, Beach energy is declining more than 3 percent and Oil Search is lower by almost 2 percent, while Santos and Origin Energy are down more than 2 percent each.

In the tech space, WiseTech Global is gaining more than 1 percent, while Xero and Afterpay are edging up 0.5 percent each. Appen is relatively flat.

Among the big four banks, Westpac, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are all losing almost 1 percent each.

Among gold miners, Evolution Mining, Northern Star Resources and Newcrest Mining are adding almost 1 percent each, while Gold Road Resources is edging up 0.4 percent and Resolute Mining is flat.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.731 on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved to the upside at the start of trading on Tuesday but came under pressure over the course of the session. The major averages pulled back well off their early highs and slid firmly into negative territory as the day progressed.

After snapping a five-session losing streak on Monday, the Dow slid 292.06 points or 0.8 percent to 34,577.57, its lowest closing level in almost two months. The S&P 500 fell 25.68 points or 0.6 percent to 4,443.05, while the Nasdaq dropped 67.82 points or 0.5 percent to 15,037.76, closing lower for the fifth straight session.

Meanwhile, the major European markets ended the day mixed. While the German DAX Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures settled slightly higher Tuesday after the Labor Department said U.S. consumer prices increased less than expected last month, while traders also weighed the impact of tropical storm Nicholas. Crude oil futures settled at $70.46 a barrel, up a penny from the previous close.

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