RTTNews - The Australian stock market opened on a subdued note and is trading sharply lower now with participants treading a cautious route on concerns the global economy will take more time to see a full recovery.

Energy, financial and consumer staple stocks are trading weak while some buying is happening in a few materials and healthcare stocks. Telecommunications, industrials and information technology stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend.

The Australian benchmark index S&P/ASX 200 is currently trading at 3,797, down 27.9 points from its previous close. The All Ordinaries index is down 22.1 points at 3,787.

On Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 index had gained 7.30 points or 0.19% to close at 3,825. The All Ordinaries index had closed at 3,809, up 8.30 points or 0.22%.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation are trading sharply lower, while National Bank of Australia is down with a modest loss.

Energy stocks Woodside Petroleum and Santos are trading lower. In the materials space, BHP Billiton is trading modestly higher and Rio Tinto is down sharply in the red.

APN News & Media is trading down 2.5% after the company raised $83 million through a new share sale to institutional investors to reduce its debts. The institutional entitlement offer raised slightly more than the $79 million APN was expecting.

APN, which owns the New Zealand Herald, as well as a string of other media outlets in Australia and NZ, aims to raise a total $99 million from institutional and retail shareholders.

Another media firm Fairfax Media is reported to be considering buying back up to $200 million of its bonds, helping to reduce the newspaper publisher's interest expenses following last week's credit-rating downgrade. The stock is currently trading flat.

The Australian dollar ticked down further against its major counterparts in early Asian trading on Thursday. Against the US dollar, the Aussie is now trading at 0.7730. The Aussie is trading near new multi-day lows of 0.8830 against the Canadian dollar, 73.04 versus the yen and 1.7825 against the euro.

Traders are now likely to focus on the Australian new motor vehicle sales and consumer inflation expectation report for April, which is scheduled for release in today's Asian morning session.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region had finished mixed on Wednesday. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.3 percent.

On Wall Street, stocks failed to sustain the early gains and ended modestly lower on Wednesday with several participants choosing to stay away from the market after recent gains. The U.S. treasury secretary, while sounding optimistic regarding the recovery of the much-battered financial sector, said a full recovery will take time.

The major averages all closed slightly lower a late day sell-off dragged the indices into negative territory. The Dow closed lower by 52.81 points at 8422.04, the Nasdaq finished down by 6.70 points at 1727.84, and the S&P 500 slipped by 4.66 points to 903.47.

Oil prices registered fresh six-month intra-day highs and closing highs, spurred by a second straight decline in weekly inventories. Crude oil inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels in the week ended May 15. Experts had forecast a decline of about 1.5 million barrels of crude oil. Crude contracts settled more than 3% higher at just above $62 per barrel.

Major European markets closed Wednesday's session mixed. The French CAC 40 Index finished up 0.8 percent, while the German DAX Index also closed up, rising by 1.6 percent on the session. On the other hand, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index closed down by 0.3 percent.

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