Australian Market Slightly Lower

The Australian stock market is slightly lower in choppy trading on Friday, extending the losses in the previous four sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,200 level, despite the mostly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, dragged by losses in gold miners and energy stocks and tumbling bullion and crude oil prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 3.20 points or 0.05 percent to 7,135.00, after hitting a low of 7,129.00 and a high of 7,143.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 3.10 points or 0.04 percent to 7,313.60. Australian markets ended significantly lower on Thursday.

Among major miners, Fortescue Metals is gaining more than 1 percent and BHP Group is edging up 0.2 percent, while Mineral Resources and Rio Tinto are adding almost 1 percent each.

Oil stocks are weak. Santos and Woodside Energy are losing almost 1 percent each, while Beach energy is declining almost 2 percent. Origin Energy is flat.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is losing 4.5 percent and Xero is down almost 1 percent, while WiseTech Global is edging up 0.3 percent and Appen is gaining almost 1 percent. Zip is flat.

Among the big four banks, Westpac, ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank are edging up 0.2 to 0.4 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is gaining almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are weak. Gold Road Resources, Northern Star Resources and Evolution Mining are losing almost 1 percent each, while Newcrest Mining is down more than 1 percent and Resolute Mining is declining almost 2 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.650 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday, regaining ground after moving sharply lower on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Nasdaq showed a particularly strong upward move, reflecting strength in the tech sector.

The Nasdaq surged 213.93 points or 1.7 percent to 12,698.09, bouncing back near the nine-month closing high set on Monday. The S&P 500 also jumped 36.04 points or 0.9 percent to 4,151.28, while the narrower Dow bucked the downtrend and edged down 35.27 points or 0.1 percent to 32,764.65.

Meanwhile, the major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index declined by 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both dipped by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil prices fell sharply Thursday, snapping a three-day winning streak, after Russia's Deputy Prime Minister said Russia won't agree on any additional cut in crude production. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended down $2.51 or 3.4 percent at $71.83 a barrel.

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