Australian Market Modestly Lower

The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Thursday, extending the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 falling below the 6,700 level, following the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street, dragged by weakness in energy and financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 36.80 points or 0.55 percent to 6,663.40, after hitting a low of 6,649.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 37.60 points or 0.55 percent to 6,840.30. Australian stocks ended significantly lower on Wednesday.

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

Oil stocks are lower. Santos is edging down 0.1 percent, Woodside Energy is declining more than 2 percent, Beach energy is down almost 3 percent and Origin Energy is slipping almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is losing 1.5 percent, Xero is edging down 0.5 percent and Appen is down more than 1 percent. Zip is adding more than 1 percent and WiseTech Global is flat.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are all losing almost 1 percent each.

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources is edging down 0.5 percent, Gold Road Resources is losing almost 1 percent, Newcrest Mining is down 1.5 percent and Resolute Mining is declining more than 4 percent. Evolution Mining is flat.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.687 on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Wednesday following the sell-off seen during trading on Tuesday. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged before closing narrowly mixed.

While the Dow rose 82.32 points or 0.3 percent to 31,029.31, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 ended the day slightly lower. The Nasdaq edged down 3.65 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 11,177.89, and the S&P 500 dipped 2.72 points or 0.1 percent to 3,818.83.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index slumped by 0.9 percent and the German DAX Index plunged by 1.7 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Wednesday, snapping a three-day winning streak with traders looking to the two-day OPEC meeting that began today to discuss supply issues. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended lower by $1.98 or 1.8 percent at $109.78 a barrel.

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