Australian Market Slightly Higher

The Australian stock market is slightly higher on Friday after being in the red most of the morning session, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 6,500 level, despite the broadly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, supported by technology stocks, partially offset by weakness in materials and energy stocks amid tumbling commodity prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 14.00 points or 0.21 percent to the day's high of 6,542.40, after hitting a low of 6,501.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 27.10 points or 0.41 percent to 6,718.50. Australian markets ended modestly higher on Thursday.

Among major miners, Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals are declining almost 2 percent each, while Mineral Resources is edging down 0.4 percent and OZ Minerals is slipping more than 3 percent.

Oil stocks are lower. Origin Energy is losing more than 1 percent, while Woodside Energy, Santos and Beach energy are declining more than 2 percent each.

Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is gaining almost 3 percent, Xero is advancing almost 4 percent, Afterpay owner Block is soaring almost 9 percent, Appen is adding 5.5 percent and Zip is surging almost 8 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank are losing almost 1 percent each, while Westpac is down almost 2 percent and ANZ Banking is declining more than 1 percent.

Gold miners are mostly lower. Northern Star Resources, Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining are losing more than 2 percent each, while Gold Road Resources is adding almost 1 percent and Resolute Mining is flat.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.690 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks extended the volatility seen in the previous session, fluctuating over the course of the trading day on Friday. Benefiting from the some late-day strength, the major averages all ended the session firmly in positive territory.

The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached new highs for the session going into the close of trading. The Dow climbed 194.23 points or 0.6 percent to 30,677.36, the Nasdaq surged 179.11 points or 1.6 percent to 11,232.19 and the S&P 500 jumped 35.84 points or 1 percent at 3,795.73.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index tumbled by 1.8 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slumped by 1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.6 percent.

Oil futures slid on Thursday, losing ground for a second straight session on concerns about outlook for energy demand amid rising possibility of a recession. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended lower by $1.92 or 1.8 percent at $104.27 a barrel.

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