RTTNews - After a negative start, the Australian market briefly edged higher into positive territory on Tuesday with select financials and energy stocks finding some support at lower levels. However, with not much support coming by at higher levels, the market has drifted down into the red once again.
With cues from Wall Street not any significantly positive, the mood is a bit cautious in the market this morning.
The Australian benchmark index S&P/ASX 200, which rallied to 4,310.8 from a low of 4,279, is currently down by 1.2 points at 4,302.9. The broader All Ordinaries index is trading at 4,305.5, down 3.7 points or 0.1% from its previous close.
On Monday, the S&P/ASX 200 index had closed with a gain of 4.7 points or 0.1% at 4,304.1 while the All Ordinaries index ended up 6.1 points or 0.1% at 4,309.2.
Key bank stocks are all trading firm. ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation are up by 1%-1.5%. Diversified financials major Macquarie Group is up nearly 1%.
In the materials space, Rio Tinto is down by over 2%. BHP Billiton, Newcrest Mining and Fortescue Metals are trading modestly lower, while Orica and Incitec Pivot are up modestly.
Among energy stocks, Woodside Petroleum and Origin Energy are trading higher, while Santos and Oil Search are exhibiting weakness.
Media stock Newscorp and insurance major QBE Insurance are trading notably higher.
WorleyParsons Ltd's Canadian subsidiary's contract for Syncrude CoSyn and Imperial Oil upstream alliances has been extended for at least five years. WorleyParsons Canada Services Ltd was awarded a five-year contract renewal with a five year extension option, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The WorleyParsons stock is currently trading up 2.2% over its previous close.
Hearing implant company Cochlear Ltd reported a 13% increase in annual profit and says its results in the new financial year will be driven by the roll out of new products. Cochlear made a net profit of A$130.54 million in the year ended June 30, up from A$115.23 million in the previous year. Its core earnings rose 12% to A$137.95 million. The stock is, however, trading lower by 0.8%.
In economic news on Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases lending finance data for June and the National Australia Bank will release a report on Business Conditions and Business Confidence in July.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan and Singapore are trading higher, while New Zealand and Korea are exhibiting weakness. Stock markets across the region had largely turned in strong performances on Monday.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened lower today, with investors going in for some profit taking after recent gains. In early trading, the Aussie was quoting at US$0.8372/75, down 0.18% from Monday's close of US$0.8388/90. The Australian dollar is currently trading at 0.8372 to the U.S. dollar.
On Wall Street, stocks posted modest losses on Monday, as traders cashed in on recent gains amid a lack of significant moves. The decline came ahead of some key economic reports on tap for this week, including data on retail sales, industrial production and weekly jobless claims. Further, the Federal Open Market Committee will make its interest rate announcement on Wednesday, with the key fed funds rate expected to remain unchanged amid a challenging economic environment.
The Dow closed lower by 32.12 points or 0.3% at 9,337.95, the Nasdaq slipped by 8.01 points or 0.4% to 1,992.24 and the S&P 500 drifted down by 3.38 points or 0.3% to 1,007.10.
Major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Monday, with the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index closing down by 0.5% and 0.8% respectively, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose by 0.7%.
Crude oil prices finished modestly lower amid choppy trading on Monday, but held above the US$70 per barrel mark. Traders expressed some uncertainty ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision later this week. Light sweet crude for September moved to US$70.60 a barrel, down 33 cents for the day. Prices touched as low as US$70.09 and as high as US$71.57 earlier in the day.
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