Australian Market Modestly Higher

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Thursday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 6,500 level, despite the broadly negative cues overnight from the global markets, with gains in technology and financial stocks, partially offset by weakness in materials and energy stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 36.00 points or 0.55 percent to 6,544.50, after touching a high of 6,549.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 31.10 points or 0.47 percent to 6,713.40. Australian stocks ended slightly lower on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group, OZ Minerals and Rio Tinto are losing almost 3 percent each, while Mineral Resources is down 1.5 percent and Fortescue Metals is sliding almost 5 percent.

Oil stocks are lower. Santos is losing 2.5 percent, Woodside Energy is declining more than 3 percent, Beach energy is down more than 2 percent and Origin Energy is slipping almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is gaining more than 3 percent, Xero is up almost 1 percent and Zip is adding more than 1 percent, while Appen and WiseTech Global are advancing almost 2 percent each.

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

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources and Gold Road Resources are flat. Newcrest Mining is gaining almost 1 percent, while Evolution Mining is edging down 0.3 percent and Resolute Mining is declining more than 2 percent.

In economic news, the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in June, and at a slightly faster rate, the latest survey from S&P Global revealed on Thursday with a manufacturing PMI score of 55.8. That's up from 55.7 in May, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the services index slipped to 52.6 in June from 53.2 in May, while the composite index eased to 52.6 from 52.9.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.692 on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Wednesday after recovering from an early move to the downside. he major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before closing modestly lower.

The major averages finished the session well off their early lows but still in negative territory. The Dow dipped 47.12 points or 0.2 percent to 30,483.13, the Nasdaq slipped 16.22 points or 0.2 percent to 11,053.08 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.90 points or 0.1 percent to 3,759.89.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index slumped by 1.1 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.9 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures tumbled on Wednesday amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to slowing global growth following sharp interest rate hikes by central banks. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended lower by $3.33 or 3 percent at $106.19 a barrel, the lowest settlement in six weeks.

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