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Australian Market Modestly Higher

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Thursday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 a tad below the 7,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with the gains led by technology and financial stocks, partially offset by weakness in materials and energy stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 24.00 points or 0.34 percent to 6,999.90, after touching a high of 7,021.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 29.30 points or 0.41 percent to 7,232.20. Australian stocks ended modestly lower on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and OZ Minerals are edging down 0.1 to 0.3 percent each, while Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto are losing almost 1 percent each. Mineral Resources is advancing almost 2 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Santos and Woodside Energy are losing almost 1 percent each, while Beach energy is declining almost 3 percent and Origin Energy is edging down 0.5 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is surging more than 10 percent, WiseTech Global is adding almost 1 percent, Xero is gaining more than 1 percent, Appen is advancing more than 4 percent and Zip is climbing more than 7 percent.

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

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

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.696 on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Wednesday, offsetting the pullback seen over the two previous sessions. The rally lifted the tech-heavy Nasdaq to a three-month closing high, while the S&P 500 reached its best closing level in almost two months.

The major averages pulled back off their highs going into the close but held on to strong gains. While the Nasdaq spiked 319.40 points or 2.6 percent to 12,668.16, the S&P 500 surged 63.98 points or 1.6 percent to 4,155.17 and the Dow jumped 416.33 points or 1.3 percent to 32,812.50.

The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both jumped by 1.0 percent.

Crude oil prices fell sharply Wednesday after data showed an unexpected surge in U.S. crude inventories last week. The dollar's strength after hawkish comments from a few Fed officials also weighed on oil prices.

Also, OPEC+ agreed to a tiny increase in output next month amid fears that a global recession will crimp demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for September sank $3.76 or 4 percent at $90.66 a barrel.

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