Australian Market Modestly Lower

The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Wednesday, giving up some of the gains in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,000 mark, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, dragged down by tumbling technology stocks, which mirrored their peers on the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Traders also remain cautious ahead of the release of crucial U.S. inflation data later in the day.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 11.90 points or 0.17 percent to 7,017.90, after hitting a low of 6,985.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 13.60 points or 0.19 percent to 7,265.00. Australian stocks ended slightly higher on Tuesday.

Among major miners, Rio Tinto and BHP Group are edging up 0.2 to 0.4 percent each, while Fortescue Metals and OZ Minerals are edging down 0.2 to 0.3 percent each. Mineral Resources is down more than percent.

Oil stocks are mixed. Santos and Origin Energy are edging up 0.1 to 0.3 percent each, while Beach energy is edging down 0.4 percent. Woodside Energy is flat.

In the tech space, Xero and Appen are slipping almost 4 percent each, while WiseTech Global is losing 2.5 percent, Afterpay owner Block is plunging more than 6 percent and Zip is down almost 3 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is adding more than 1 percent, ANZ Banking is gaining almost 2 percent and Westpac is edging up 0.5 percent. Commonwealth Bank is losing almost 1 percent despite reporting a 11 percent jump in annual profit, which topped estimates.

Among gold miners, Resolute Mining is losing almost 3 percent, Evolution Mining is down more than 1 percent, Gold Road Resources is slipping almost 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is edging down 0.2 percent. Northern Star Resources is edging up 0.2 percent.

In other news, shares in Graincorp are surging almost 7 percent after the agribusiness firm boosted its annual profit forecast for the second time amid soaring prices and demand for grains.

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

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading session on Tuesday after ending Monday's trading little changed. The major averages all moved to the downside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq showing a particularly steep drop.

The Nasdaq tumbled 150.53 points or 1.2 percent to 12,493.93 and the S&P 500 fell 17.59 points or 0.4 percent to 4,122.47. Meanwhile, the Dow posted a more modest loss, edging down 58.13 points or 0.2 percent to 32,774.41.

Meanwhile, the major European markets ended the day mixed. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index fell 0.5 percent and the German DAX Index slumped 1.1 percent.

Crude oil futures settled modestly lower Tuesday on concerns about outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended lower by $0.26 or 0.3 percent at $90.50 a barrel.

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