Australian Market Advances

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(RTTNews) – The Australian stock market is advancing on Friday, extending gains from the previous session, after U.S. stocks reversed earlier losses to close higher overnight amid optimism about potential resumption of negotiations over a new U.S. fiscal stimulus bill. Upbeat Australian retail sales data for October also boosted sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 13.20 points or 0.20 percent to 6,560.40, after touching a low of 6,535.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 17.10 points or 0.25 percent to 6,759.80. Australian stocks recouped early losses to closed modestly higher on Thursday.

Tech stocks followed their U.S. peers higher, amid expectations that they will benefit from new lockdowns as a result of the recent spike in coronavirus cases. Afterpay and Appen are rising more than 1 percent each, while WiseTech Global is advancing almost 1 percent.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is rising 0.3 percent and Fortescue Metals is adding 0.2 percent, while BHP Group is down 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the big four banks are mixed. ANZ Banking is declining 0.6 percent and National Australia Bank is down 0.2 percent, while Commonwealth Bank is adding 0.5 percent and Westpac is edging up 0.1 percent.

Gold miners are weak after gold prices fell for a third straight session overnight. Newcrest Mining is losing almost 1 percent Evolution Mining is lower by 0.5 percent.

Oil stocks are also mostly lower after crude oil prices edged lower overnight. Woodside Petroleum is advancing more than 1 percent, while Oil Search is tumbling almost 5 percent and Santos is lower by 0.6 percent.

In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the total value of retail sales in Australia climbed a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent on month in October, coming in at A$29.618 billion. That beat expectations for an increase of 0.3 percent following the 1.1 percent decline in September.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Thursday after a lackluster performance for much of the session amid a mixed batch of U.S. economic data. The notable advance by the Nasdaq seemed to reflect expectations that new lockdowns as a result of the recent spike in coronavirus cases will benefit technology companies, as was seen earlier in the pandemic. The markets also seemed to receive a boost from comments from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., indicating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., has agreed to resume negotiations over a new stimulus bill.

The Nasdaq advanced 103.11 points or 0.9 percent to 11,904.71, while the Dow edged up 44.81 points or 0.2 percent to 29,483.23 and the S&P 500 rose 14.08 points or 0.4 percent to 3,581.87.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index slumped by 0.9 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Thursday as rising coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe and imposition of fresh lockdown measures at several places raised concerns about energy demand. WTI crude for December delivery edged down $0.08 or about 0.2 percent to $$41.74 a barrel.

Bastion Balance Seoul, Korea.