RTTNews - The Australian market stalled the seven-day rally and ended flat on Thursday with the benchmark S&P ASX Index slipping into red with a small loss, while the All Ordinaries Index ended in positive territory with a marginal gain. Mining and energy stocks advanced, while banks slipped following an announcement by National Australia Bank regarding its capital raising.
In the U.S., low volume, which is characteristic of summer trading, was visible for much of Wednesday's session, as traders digested earnings results from companies, including Apple (AAPL), Yahoo! (YHOO), Pfizer (PFE) Boeing (BA), Morgan Stanley (MS), Wells Fargo (WFC), and PepsiCo (PEP).
While the Nasdaq eked out a gain of 10.18 points or 0.5%, finishing at 1,926, the Dow fell by 34.68 points or 0.4% to 8,881 and the S&P 500 slipped by 0.51 points or 0.1% to close at 954.
The All Ordinaries Index opened unchanged from its previous close at 4,069 and drifted into negative territory as traders preferred to lock in gains following seven days of rally. A Mixed closing in the U.S and cautious optimism about a global recovery also impacted trading as traders preferred to move to the sidelines. The Index traded in a narrow range throughout the session and managed to close in the green with a marginal gain of 3.70 points, or 0.09% at 4,073. However, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped into red and closed at 4,064, representing a loss of 4.4 points, or 0.11%.
Light sweet crude oil for September delivery ended the Asian trading session at $65.54, up $0.14 from its previous close in New York at $65.40 on Wednesday.
Shares of Macquarie Group as well as Macquarie Airports were placed on a trading halt ahead of the announcement from Macquarie Airports regarding the issue of strategic options to enhance security holder value.
Mining stocks gained on expectation of higher demand. BHP Billiton gained 0.54%, Rio Tinto gained 3.01%, Fortescue Metals advanced 2.56% and Oz Minerals surged up 6.54%.
Energy stocks ended mixed. Woodside Petroleum edged down 0.34% and Santos lost 1.15%. However, Oil Search bucked the trend and advanced 3.09%. .
Gold stocks ended mixed on profit taking. While Lihir Gold shed 0.35 %, Newcrest Mining advanced 0.82% and Sino Gold rose 5.10%.
Banking stocks dragged down the indices after National Australia Bank said it raised capital to the extent of $2 billion at a lower price of A$21.5 per share. The stock slumped 5.22%. Among other banks, ANZ Bank slipped 0.77%, Commonwealth Bank edged down 0.43% and Westpac Banking fell 1.03%.
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