Australian Market Significantly Lower

The Australian stock market is significantly lower on Wednesday, snapping the six-session winning streak, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,000 mark, following the broadly negative cues from global markets overnight, with weakness across most sectors as traders digest the third cash rate hike by the RBA in as many months.

The central bank said it was intent on bringing interest rates to a "neutral" level of at least 2.5 percent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 49.90 points or 0.71 percent to 6,948.20, after hitting a low of 6,918.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 46.60 points or 0.65 percent to 7,169.80. Australian stocks ended slightly higher on Tuesday.

Among major miners, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals and BHP Group are losing almost 2 percent each, while OZ Minerals is slipping almost 3 percent and Mineral Resources is down almost 1 percent.

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

In the tech space, Xero and WiseTech Global are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Afterpay owner Block is surging more than 4 percent and Appen is advancing more than 3 percent. Zip is slipping 3.5 percent.

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

Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining is slipping almost 2 percent and Northern Star Resources is declining more than 2 percent, while Resolute Mining and Evolution Mining are losing more than 1 percent each. Gold Road Resources is gaining almost 1 percent.

In economic news, the services sector in Australia continued to expand in July, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from S&P Global revealed on Wednesday with a services PMI score of 50.9. That's down from 52.6 in June, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the composite PMI fell to 51.1 in July from 52.6 in June.

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

On Wall Street, stocks closed on a weak note on Tuesday as rising tensions between the U.S. and China, and signs of slowing global growth weighed on sentiment. Hawkish comments from a couple of Federal Reserve officials weighed as well.

The major averages all ended in negative territory. The Dow ended with a loss of 402.23 points or 1.23 percent at 32,396.17, the S&P 500 settled with a loss of 27.44 points or 0.67 percent at 4,091.19 and the Nasdq ended with a loss of 20.22 points or 0.16 percent at 12,348.76.

The major European markets also closed on a weak note on the day. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged down 0.06 percent, Germany's DAX ended 0.23 percent down and France's CAC 40 shed 0.42 percent.

Crude oil futures settled higher Tuesday, with traders weighing demand and supply prospects and looking ahead to this week's OPEC+ meeting. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended higher by $0.53 or 0.6 percent at $94.42 a barrel.

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