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Australian Market Sharply Higher

The Australian stock market is sharply higher on Wednesday, extending the rally in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving a tad below the 6,800 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across all sectors, led by technology and financial stocks as traders digest the smaller-than expected interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The RBA said it wants to strike a balance between tightening policy and ensuring that economic growth remains steady.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 100.00 points or 1.49 percent to 6,799.30, after touching a high of 6,819.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 104.10 points or 1.51 percent to 7,009.40. Australian stocks ended sharply higher on Tuesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group is edging up 0.4 percent, Rio Tinto is gaining almost 1 percent, Fortescue Metals is adding more than 1 percent and Mineral Resources is advancing almost 3 percent, while OZ Minerals is losing more than 1 percent.

Oil stocks are higher. Santos and Beach energy are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Origin Energy is adding almost 1 percent and Woodside Energy is advancing almost 2 percent.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is soaring almost 8 percent, Zip is surging almost 6 percent, Appen is gaining almost 4 percent, Xero is adding almost 4 percent and WiseTech Global is advancing more than 4 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank are adding more than 2 percent each, while ANZ Banking and Westpac are gaining almost 3 percent each.

Among gold miners, Gold Road Resources is gaining more than 1 percent, Newcrest Mining is adding almost 2 percent, Northern Star Resources is edging up 0.4 percent and Resolute Mining is advancing more than 2 percent, while Evolution Mining is edging down 0.2 percent.

In other news, shares in Link Administration are surging more than 6 percent after it received a $1.27 billion bid for its corporate markets and banking segments from Canada's Dye & Durham.

In economic news, the services sector in Australia continued to expand in September, and at a slightly faster pace, the latest survey from S&P Global revealed on Wednesday with a services PMI score of 50.6. That's up from 50.4 in August, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the composite index improved to 50.9 from 50.2 in August.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.649 on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks climbed higher on Tuesday, rising sharply for a second straight session, amid hopes the Federal Reserve will slow down its aggression with regard to interest rate hikes after data showed a drop in job openings in the country.

The major averages all closed sharply higher. The Dow ended stronger by 825.43 points or 2.8 percent at 30,316.32. The S&P 500 climbed 112.50 points or 3.06 percent to settle at 3,790.93, and the Nasdaq surged to 11,176.41, gaining 360.97 points or 3.34 percent.

The major European markets all also ended with strong gains. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 surged 2.57 percent, Germany's DAX rallied 3.78 percent, and France's CAC 40 gained 4.24 percent.

Crude oil prices rose sharply Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session as traders continued to bet on hopes the OPEC will agree to a large cut in crude output later today. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November settled at $86.52 a barrel, up $2.89 or 3.5 percent.

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