Australian Market Modestly Lower

The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Tuesday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 below the 7,300 level, following the firmly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, with weakness in technology and financial stocks, partially offset by strength in materials and energy stocks as commodity prices climb.

The domestic coronavirus situation, primarily in New South Wales and Victoria, is also denting investor sentiment. Victoria reported 1,466 new locally acquired cases and eight deaths on Monday, with the active cases totalling 19,627 across Victoria. NSW has reported only 360 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and five deaths.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 22.20 points or 0.30 percent to 7,277.60, after hitting a low of 7,277.30 and a high of 7,330.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 27.20 points or 0.36 percent to 7,573.90. Australian stocks closed modestly lower on Monday.

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

Oil stocks are mostly higher after as crude oil prices climbed overnight. Santos and Origin Energy are edging up 0.4 percent each, while Oil Search is gaining almost 1 percent. Beach energy is losing almost 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is edging down 0.1 percent

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is edging down 0.2 percent, ANZ Banking is losing almost 1 percent, National Australia Bank is edging down 0.4 percent and Westpac is declining more than 1 percent.

Westpac revealed that its profit for the second half will be hurt by $1.3 billion in write-downs, provisions for refunds and litigation, and costs from selling off its life insurance business.

Among tech stocks, Xero is losing more than 1 percent and WiseTech Global is lower by almost 1 percent, while Afterpay and Appen are declining more than 2 percent each.

Gold miners are higher. Gold Road Resources is gaining more than 2 percent, while Newcrest Mining and Resolute Mining is adding almost 2 percent each. Evolution Mining is edging up 0.4 percent and Northern Star Resources is flat.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.734 on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading day on Monday after moving to the upside early in the session. With the downturn on the day, the major averages added to the modest losses posted during last Friday's session.

The major averages saw further downside going into the close, ending the session at their worst levels of the day. The Dow slid 250.19 points or 0.7 percent to 34,496.06, the Nasdaq fell 93.34 points or 0.6 percent to 14,486.20 and the S&P 500 dropped 30.15 points or 0.7 percent to 4,361.19.

Meanwhile, the major European markets finished the day mixed. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index crept up by 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.7 percent.

Crude oil futures spiked Monday with falling inventories, the OPEC decision to stick with a gradual production increase, and the ongoing energy crunch supporting oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November rose $1.17 or 1.5 percent to $80.52 a barrel.

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