Australian Market Sharply Lower

The Australian stock market is sharply lower on Wednesday, giving up some of the gains in the previous four sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling below the 6,700 level, following the broadly negative cues overnight from Wall Street, with technology stocks tumbling to mirror their peers on tech-heavy Nasdaq after discouraging data on US consumer confidence.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 69.90 points or 1.03 percent to 6,693.70, after hitting a low of 6,681.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 79.30 points or 1.14 percent to 6,874.10. Australian stocks ended significantly higher on Tuesday.

Among major miners, Rio Tinto and BHP Group are edging down 0.5 percent each, while OZ Minerals is losing more than 2 percent. Fortescue Metals is gaining more than 1 percent and Mineral Resources is flat.

Oil stocks are higher. Beach energy is surging more than 4 percent, Woodside Energy is gaining 2.5 percent and Santos is adding almost 1 percent, while Origin Energy is flat.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block and Zip are plunging more than 6 percent each, while Appen is slipping 5.5 percent, WiseTech Global is losing almost 3 percent and Xero is declining more than 5 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank and Westpac are edging up 0.4 percent each, while ANZ Banking is gaining almost 1 percent. Commonwealth Bank is edging down 0.4 percent.

Among gold miners, Gold Road Resources and Evolution Mining are losing more than 4 percent each, while Resolute Mining is declining more than 5 percent, Northern Star Resources is sliding almost 5 percent and Newcrest Mining is down more than 3 percent.

In other news, shares in Liontown Resources are soaring almost 10 percent after it inked a 5-year lithium supply deal with Ford Motor.

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

On Wall Street, stocks showed a substantial move to the downside during trading on Tuesday, coming under pressure after failing to sustain an early upward move. The major averages all moved notably lower, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a particularly steep loss.

The major averages finished the session just off their worst levels of the day. The Dow tumbled 491.27 points or 1.6 percent to 30,936.99, the Nasdaq plummeted 343.01 points or 3 percent to 11,181.54 and the S&P 500 plunged 78.56 points or 2 percent to 3,821.55.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index increased by 0.9 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index rose by 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Tuesday, extending recent gains after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates indicated that they can barely increase oil production. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for August ended higher by $2.19 or 2 percent at $111.76 per barrel.

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