Australian Market Modestly Lower

The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Friday, giving up some of the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,000 mark, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, with weakness in technology stocks partially offset by small gains in financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 36.10 points or 0.51 percent to 7,034.90, after hitting a low of 7,016.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 34.80 points or 0.48 percent to 7,290.60. Australian markets ended sharply higher on Thursday.

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

Oil stocks are mixed. Origin Energy is losing almost 1 percent, while Beach energy and Woodside Energy are gaining more than 1 percent each. Santos is flat.

Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global and Zip are losing almost 2 percent each, while Appen is slipping almost 3 percent, Xero is declining more than 2 percent and Afterpay owner Block is sliding almost 4 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank and Westpac are edging up 0.2 to 0.5 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is losing more than 1 percent. ANZ Banking is adding almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are mixed. Northern Star Resources is edging up 0.2 percent and Resolute Mining is gaining 3.5 percent. Gold Road Resources is losing more than 2 percent, while Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining are down more than 1 percent each.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.710 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a strong move to the upside in early trading on Thursday but gave back ground over the course of the session. The major averages showed a notable downturn after reaching their best intraday levels in three months.

The major averages eventually finished the day mixed. The tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped as much as 1.3 percent but ended the day down 74.89 points or 0.6 percent to 12,779.92. The S&P 500 also edged down 2.97 points or 0.1 percent to 4,207.27, while the narrower Dow inched up 27.16 points or 0.1 percent to 33,336.67.

The major European markets also turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil prices rose sharply Thursday on rising hopes for energy demand after the International Energy Agency lifted its demand outlook. The dollar's weakness following the soft inflation data also contributed to the rise in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures ended higher by $2.41 or 2.6 percent at $94.34 a barrel.

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