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Australian Market Slightly Lower

The Australian stock market is slightly lower on Wednesday, giving up some of the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 6,600 level, following the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street, as tumbling commodity prices dragged gold miners, materials and energy stocks, nearly offset by soaring technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 5.90 points or 0.09 percent to 6,623.40, after hitting a low of 6,591.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 0.80 points or 0.01 percent to 6,817.30. Australian stocks ended modestly higher on Tuesday.

Among major miners, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are losing almost 4 percent each, while OZ Minerals is down almost 2 percent, Mineral Resources is slipping almost 3 percent and BHP Group is declining more than 3 percent.

Oil stocks are lower. Beach energy is plunging more than 6 percent and Woodside Energy is slipping almost 5 percent, while Origin Energy and Santos are losing more than 3 percent eac h.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is surging almost 6 percent, Appen is adding 4.5 percent, WiseTech Global is advancing more than 7 percent, Xero is soaring more than 9 percent and Zip is skyrocketing almost 13 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is gaining almost 2 percent, while ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are adding almost 1 percent each.

Among gold miners, Gold Road Resources is losing almost 2 percent, Resolute Mining is declining almost 6 percent, Northern Star Resources is down more than 2 percent, Newcrest Mining is slipping almost 5 percent and Evolution Mining is sliding almost 4 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.681 on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks ended on a mixed note on Tuesday after a volatile session, as fears about a possible recession and interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve weighed on sentiment. Growth fears outweighed news that U.S. President Joe Biden may announce a rollback of some US tariffs on Chinese imports.

The major averages all fell sharply into the red early on in the session. The Dow recorded a loss of 129.44 points or 0.42 percent to settle at 30,967.82, the S&P 500 settled with a gain of 6.06 points or 0.16 percent at 3,831.39 and the Nasdaq ended higher by 194.39 points or 1.75 percent at 11,322.24.

Meanwhile, the major European markets closed sharply lower, weighed down by weak eurozone economic data. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 drifted down 2.86 percent, Germany's DAX fell 2.91 percent, and France's CAC 40 declined 2.68 percent.

Crude oil prices plunged sharply Tuesday on concerns about the outlook for energy demand following a surge in Covid cases in China, while fears about Fed tightening, a strong greenback and a possible global slowdown also weighed on oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August plummeted $8.93 or 8.2 percent at $99.50 a barrel.

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