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Australian Market Notably Lower

The Australian stock market is notably lower on Friday, giving up some of the gains in the previous three sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,300 level, following the mixed cues from global markets overnight, with losses in energy and financial stocks partially offset by gains in gold miners.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 44.50 points or 0.61 percent to 7,309.90, after hitting a low of 7,300.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 42.50 points or 0.56 percent to 7,511.50. Australian markets ended significantly higher on Thursday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are losing almost 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is edging down 0.5 percent. Mineral Resources is edging up 0.5 percent and OZ Minerals is flat.

Oil stocks are weak. Santos is losing more than 1 percent, Woodside Energy is declining almost 2 percent and Beach energy is edging down 0.4 percent, while Origin Energy is edging up 0.1 percent.

Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global and Xero are losing almost 1 percent each, while Afterpay owner Block and Zip are gaining almost 1 percent each. Appen is flat.

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

Gold miners are higher. Northern Star Resources is gaining more than 2 percent, Newcrest Mining is advancing more than 3 percent, Evolution Mining is adding almost 3 percent. Gold Road Resources is up almost 2 percent and Resolute Mining is surging 5.5 percent.

In economic news, the value of retail sales in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent on month in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Friday - coming in at A$35.017 billion. That missed forecasts for an increase of 0.2 percent following the 0.6 percent gain in September. On a yearly basis, retail sales climbed 12.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the value of owner-occupied home loans issued in Australia in October was down a seasonally adjusted 2.9 percent on month, coming in at A$17.16 billion. That exceeded expectations for a decline of 4.5 percent following the 9.3 percent drop in September. On a yearly basis, home loans stumbled 17.2 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.680 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Thursday after skyrocketing over the course of Wednesday's session. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line, while the narrower Dow gave back ground.

The major averages eventually ended the session mixed. While the Nasdaq crept up 14.45 points or 0.1 percent to 11,482.45, the Dow slid 194.76 points or 0.6 percent to 34,395.01 and the S&P 500 edged down 3.54 points or 0.1 percent to 4,076.57.

The major European also turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index crept up 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index climbed 0.7 percent.

Crude oil futures settled higher Thursday on easing concerns about the outlook for energy demand, while a weaker dollar amid rising prospects of smaller rate hikes by the Fed also contributed to the increase in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January gained $0.67 or 0.8 percent at $81.22 a barrel.

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