Australian Market Slightly Lower

The Australian stock market is slightly lower on Monday, recouping some of the gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,200 level, despite the broadly positive cues from global markets on Friday, led by losses in resources, energy and technology stocks, partially offset by gains in financial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 4.60 points or 0.06 percent to 7,147.20, after touching a high of 7,174.40 and a low of 7,147.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 11.00 points or 0.15 percent to 7,343.70. Australian stocks closed modestly higher on Friday.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is losing more than 2 percent, BHP Group is declining almost 2 percent and Fortescue Metals is declining more than 4 percent, while Mineral Resources is adding almost 5 percent. OZ Minerals is flat.

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

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is losing more than 4 percent, Appen is edging down 0.4 percent, WiseTech Global is declining more than 1 percent and Xero is slipping almost 2 percent each, while Zip is gaining almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are mostly weak. Newcrest Mining and Northern Star Resources are edging down 0.5 percent each, while Evolution Mining is losing almost 4 percent and Gold Road Resources is adding 2.5 percent. Resolute Mining is gaining almost 2 percent.

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

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.666 on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks failed to sustain an initial move to the upside and showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Friday. The choppy trading on the day extended the volatility seen over the past several sessions.

The Dow climbed 199.37 points or 0.6 percent to end the day at 33,745.69, the S&P 500 rose 18.78 points or 0.5 percent to 3,965.34 and the Nasdaq closed up just 1.10 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 11,146.06

The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index shot up by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.0 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent.

Crude oil prices fell to a six-week low on Friday amid concerns about outlook for demand from China, and easing worries about supply. A firm dollar weighed as well on oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December dropped to $80.08, down $1.56 or about 1.9 percent. WTI crude futures shed about 10 percent this week, after having posted a loss of about 4 percent in the previous week.

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