Australian Market Declines


(RTTNews.com) - The Australian stock market is declining on Monday following the weak cues from Wall Street Friday and a fresh fall in the Turkish lira amid worries about rising U.S.-Turkey tensions. Investors also digested mixed corporate earnings results.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is down 17.60 points or 0.28 percent to 6,260.80. The broader All Ordinaries Index is losing 15.30 points or 0.24 percent to 6,351.50.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank are lower in a range of 0.6 percent to 0.9 percent.

The major miners are also mostly lower. BHP Billiton is edging up less than 0.1 percent, while Fortescue Metals is down 0.2 percent and Rio Tinto is lower by 0.5 percent.

Gold miners are mixed even as gold prices gained on Friday. Evolution Mining is advancing almost 2 percent, while Newcrest Mining is down 0.7 percent.

Oil stocks are higher after crude oil prices rose more than 1 percent Friday. Santos is rising almost 1 percent, Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.6 percent and Oil Search is up 0.3 percent.

APA Group said it has accepted an A$12.98 billion takeover from a consortium led by Hong Kong'sCK Infrastructure. The pipeline company's shares are advancing almost 1 percent.

Domain Holdings, which was spun-off from Fairfax Media, reported a net loss for the full year, while profit excluding significant items rose almost 8 percent. The real estate advertiser's shares are gaining 5 percent.

Bluescope Steel reported a full-year net profit that more than doubled from last year and also announced a A$250 million share buyback. The steel manufacturer's shares are rising more than 2 percent.

JB Hi-Fi reported a 35 percent increase in full-year net profit following its takeover of rival The Good Guys. The consumer electronics retailer's shares are also gaining more than 2 percent.

Wesfarmers has agreed to sell its Kmart tyre and auto service business to German tire manufacturer Continental for A$350 million. Shares of the conglomerate are adding 0.3 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at US$0.7280, up from US$0.7317 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Friday amid concerns about rising tensions between the U.S. and Turkey due to the Turkish detention of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson. The Turkish lira has shown a sharp decline to a record low, contributing to considerable weakness in the overseas markets.

The Dow slid 196.09 points or 0.8 percent to 25,313.14, the Nasdaq fell 52.67 points or 0.7 percent to 7,839.11 and the S&P 500 dropped 20.30 points or 0.7 percent to 2,833.28.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Friday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slumped by 1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 1.7 percent and the German DAX Index plunged by 2 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Friday, lifted by International Energy Agency's forecast that world oil demand will increase by 110,000 barrels a day to 1.5 million barrels next year. Crude oil futures for September delivery ended up $0.82 or 1.3 percent at $67.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


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