Australian Market Slightly Higher

The Australian stock market is slightly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 7,100 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, fueled largely by strength in materials and energy stocks amid higher commodity prices. Meanwhile, technology stocks mirrored their peers lower on tech-heavy Nasdaq.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 14.20 points or 0.20 percent to 7,107.20, after touching a high of 7,129.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 15.60 points or 0.21 percent to 7,341.80. Australian stocks closed modestly higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and OZ Minerals are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Mineral Resources is advancing more than 4 percent, Rio Tinto is adding almost 2 percent and Fortescue Metals is up more than 2 percent.

Oil stocks are higher, with Beach energy gaining almost 4 percent, Origin Energy adding more than 1 percent, Santos advancing more than 2 percent and Woodside Petroleum up almost 2 percent.

Among tech stocks, Appen is losing more than 1 percent, Afterpay owner Block is slipping more than 3 percent and Xero is down almost 3 percent, while WiseTech Global and Zip are edging down 0.5 percent each.

Gold miners are mostly higher. Newcrest Mining is edging up 0.5 percent, Gold Road Resources is gaining more than 1 percent and Resolute Mining is adding almost 2 percent. Northern Star Resources is edging down 0.2 percent and Evolution Mining is flat.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is gaining more than 1 percent, Westpac is adding almost 1 percent and National Australia Bank is edging up 0.3 percent, while ANZ Banking is flat.

In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia will release the minutes from its May 3 monetary policy meeting. At the meeting, the bank raised its key interest rate by 25 basis points or 0.35 percent as inflation picked up more than expected largely due to supply-side disruptions. The board also increased the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances from zero percent to 25 basis points.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.698 on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks ended mixed on Monday after a somewhat volatile session as some disappointing economic data from the U.S., Europe and China weighed on sentiment, prompting investors to largely stay cautious.

Despite early weakness, the Dow ended slightly up at 32,223.42, gaining 26.76 points or 0.08 percent. The S&P 500, which managed to emerge into positive territory around mid-afternoon, failed to hold at higher levels and settled with a loss of 15.88 points or 0.39 percent at 4,008.01. The Nasdaq closed with a loss of 142.21 points or 1.2 percent at 11,662.79.

The major European markets also turned in a mixed performance with investors digesting the latest batch of economic data from the zone. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced 0.63 percent, Germany's DAX slid 0.45 percent and France's CAC 40 ended lower by 0.23 percent.

Crude oil futures shrugged off early weakness and settled sharply higher on Monday, buoyed by rising gasoline prices after a drop in stockpiles. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended higher by $3.71 or 3.4 percent at $114.20 a barrel.

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