RTTNews - The stock market in Australia ended lower on Thursday led by financials as fresh concerns about the strength of global recovery resurfaced. In the U.S., the minutes of the FOMC meeting revealed that the Fed officials are not fully convinced about the signs of recovery and foresee more downside risks to the world's largest economy. The Dow closed lower by 52.81 points or 0.62% at 8422, the Nasdaq finished down by 6.70 points or 0.39% at 1728, and the S&P 500 slipped by 4.66 points, or 0.51% to 903.
The All Ordinaries Index, having opened unchanged from previous close at 3809, drifted down to 3,783, led by financials on weak cues from Wall Street. Resource related stocks advanced on higher metal prices, helping to trim the losses of the market. The index managed to close with a loss of 4.20 points, or 0.11%, at 3,805. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index followed a similar trend and ended lower by 10.7 points, or 0.28%, at 3,814.
On the economic front, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that total earnings of full time working adults in the private and public sector rose a seasonally adjusted 5% year-on-year in February. In another report, the Statistics Bureau stated that new motor vehicle sales increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in April from March, but were still sharply lower than one year ago.
Mining stocks rose, as a measure of six metals traded on the London Metals Exchange advanced 1.2%. Copper prices gained 2.4%. BHP Billiton, the largest mining company, gained 0.58%. Rival company, Rio Tinto gained 2.86% following reports in the media that Chinalco might favorably consider the former's proposal to restructure the US$19.5 billion deal.
Gold stocks moved to the upside, tracking the higher bullion prices. Lihir Gold advanced 3.86%, New crest Mining added 1.74% and Sino Gold gained 2.96%.
Oil stocks ended in negative territory following crude oil prices receding in the Asian session. Woodside Petroleum slipped 0.91%, Santos shed 0.47% and Oil Search was lower by 0.97% from previous close.
Banking stocks were the major losers., reacting to the negative sentiment on Wall Street. Commonwealth Bank of Australia declined 1.66%, National Australia Bank slipped 1.68% and Westpac Banking lost 1.27%. Australia and New Zealand Bank, however, bucked the trend and edged up 0.51%.
Retail stocks also ended weaker. David Jones slipped 0.53%, Harvey Norman shed 1.96%, Wesfarmers lost 3.61% and Woolworths declined 1.40%.
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