(RTTNews) – The Australian stock market pares early losses to be modestly higher on Wednesday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,300 level, following the mixed cues from global markets overnight, with particular strength in mining stocks amid improving base metal prices, partially offset by weakness in energy stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 12.80 points or 0.18 percent to 7,266.10, after touching a high of 7,276.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 15.10 points or 0.20 percent to 7,457.10. Australian stocks ended modestly higher on Tuesday.
Among major miners, Fortescue Metals and OZ Minerals are edging up 0.1 to 0.2 percent each, while Mineral Resources is gaining almost 4 percent, BHP Group is adding almost 2 percent and Rio Tinto is up almost 1 percent.
Oil stocks are lower. Santos and Origin Energy are losing almost 1 percent each, while Woodside Energy is declining almost 2 percent and Beach energy is flat.
In the tech space, Zip is gaining almost 1 percent and Xero is adding more than 1 percent, while WiseTech Global is edging down 0.5 percent and Appen is losing almost 5 percent. Afterpay owner Block is flat
Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking are edging down 0.3 to 0.4 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is edging up 0.1 percent. Westpac is flat.
Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources is gaining more than 1 percent, Newcrest Mining is adding 1.5 percent, Evolution Mining is advancing almost 2 percent, Gold Road Resources up almost 1 percent and Resolute Mining is rising almost 3 percent.
In economic news, private sector credit in Australia was up 0.6 percent on month in October, the Reserve Bank of Australia said on Wednesday – in line with expectations and slowing from 0.7 percent in September. On a yearly basis, credit jumped 9.5 percent – also matching forecasts and up from 9.4 percent in the previous month.
The total number of building permits issued in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 6.0 percent on month in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics or ABS said on Wednesday – coming in at 15,382. That missed expectations for a decline of 1.8 percent following the 5.8 percent contraction in September. On a yearly basis, permits were down 6.4 percent after tumbling 13.0 percent in the previous month. The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total building approved fell 0.2 percent in October, following a 7.1 percent decrease in September.
The ABS also said the value of construction work done in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 2.2 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2022, coming in at A$54.787 billion. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 1.5 percent following the 3.8 percent contraction in the three months prior. On a yearly basis, construction work done rose 1.1 percent.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.669 on Wednesday.
On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading day on Tuesday following the sell-off seen to start the week. The Dow eventually ended the session nearly unchanged, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed lower for the third straight session.
The Dow spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing up 3.07 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 33,852.53. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 edged down 6.31 points or 0.2 percent to 10,983.78 and the Nasdaq slid 65.72 points or 0.6 percent to 10,983.78.
The major European markets also turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent.
Crude oil futures settled higher Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session on hopes that OPEC may trim production to support prices later this week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended higher by $$0.96 or 1.2 percent at $78.20 a barrel.
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