(RTTNews) – The Australian stock market is notably lower on Wednesday, extending the losses in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying above the 7,100 level, despite the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with the weakness in financial stocks partially offset by gains in heavyweight mining and energy stocks amid firmer commodity prices.
The International Monetary Fund said Australia needs to continue raising interest rates to rein in inflation as cost of living continue to rise, despite rising risks of an economic slowdown.
The geopolitical situation also weighed on market sentiment following reports of Russian missile strikes crossing into Poland and killing two people.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 34.40 points or 0.48 percent to 7,107.20, after hitting a low of 7,142.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 31.50 points or 0.43 percent to 7,313.90. Australian stocks ended slightly lower on Tuesday.
Among major miners, , Fortescue Metals and Mineral Resources are gaining more than 1 percent each, while BHP Group and Rio Tinto are edging up 0.2 to 0.5 percent each. OZ Minerals is in a trading halt as BHP is rumoured to float a sweetened offer for the company.
Oil stocks are higher. Beach energy is edging up 0.3 percent, Santos is gaining almost 1 percent, Woodside Energy is adding more than 1 percent and Origin Energy is flat.
In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is edging up 0.3 percent, Zip is surging almost 8 percent and WiseTech Global is gaining almost 1 percent, while Appen is losing more than 4 percent and Xero is declining almost 1 percent.
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank is losing more than 1 percent and Commonwealth Bank is slipping almost 2 percent, while ANZ Banking and Westpac are declining almost 1 percent each.
Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources is losing more than 1 percent, Newcrest Mining is edging down 0.4 percent and Evolution Mining is declining almost 3 percent, while Gold Road Resources is edging up 0.4 percent and Resolute Mining is soaring more than 8 percent.
In economic news, Australia’s wage price index climbed 3.1 percent on year in the third quarter of 2022, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday – exceeding expectations for 3.0 percent and up from 2.6 percent in the second quarter. On a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis, wages rose 1.0 percent – topping forecasts for 0.9 percent and up from 0.7 percent in the three months prior.
In other news, shares in Nufarm are surging 9 percent after reporting a net profit for the full-year 2022 that rose by two thirds and provided upbeat outlook.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.674 on Wednesday.
On Wall Street, stocks gave back ground over the course of the trading session but managed to close mostly higher after showing a substantial move to the upside in early trading on Tuesday.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 162.19 points or 1.5 percent to 11,358.41 percent, the S&P 500 advanced 34.48 points or 0.9 percent to 3,991.73 and the Dow inched up 56.22 points or 0.2 percent to 33,592.92.
Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.5 percent.
Crude oil futures settled higher Tuesday, thanks to the smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. producer prices in October. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended higher by $0.94 at 86.81 a barrel.
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