Australian Market Tumbles

(RTTNews) - The Australian stock market is sharply lower on Thursday following the overnight sell-off on Wall Street amid worries about the impact of rising Treasury yields and U.S.-China trade tensions. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index has slipped below the 6,000-point mark for the first time since early June.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 105.70 points or 1.75 percent to 5,944.10, off a low of 5,912.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 111.90 points or 1.82 percent to 6,051.90. Australian shares closed slightly higher on Wednesday.

The big four banks - ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac - are lower in a range of 1.2 percent to 1.8 percent.

Among the big miners, BHP is losing almost 3 percent and Rio Tinto is down more than 2 percent, while Fortescue Metals is up almost 1 percent.

Oil stocks are also weak after crude oil prices fell more than 2 percent overnight. Santos is falling more than 4 percent, Oil Search is losing more than 3 percent and Woodside Petroleum is declining more than 2 percent.

Bucking the downtrend, gold miner Evolution Mining is gaining 4 percent and Newcrest Mining is adding 0.7 percent after gold prices rose for a second straight session overnight.

Tesltra has apologized to shareholders for a lack of clarity about calculation of executive bonuses and admitted that some investors feel they are too high despite a 30 percent cut in the bonus. Shares of the telecommunications giant are declining more than 1 percent.

Wesfarmers has appointed Sarah Hunter, who is now overseeing the spin-off of supermarket Coles, as the new managing director for its office supplies business, Officeworks. Shares of Wesfarmers are lower by almost 2 percent.

On the economic front, Australia will see October's inflation forecast today.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Thursday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7065, up from $0.7013 on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks tumbled on Wednesday amid lingering concerns about the outlook for interest rates following a recent increase in treasury yields and due to trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Technology stocks helped to lead the way lower on Wall Street, with Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Facebook all posting significant losses.

The Dow plunged 831.83 points or 3.2 percent to 25,598.74, the Nasdaq plummeted 315.97 points or 4.1 percent to 7,422.05 and the S&P 500 tumbled 94.66 points or 3.3 percent to 2,785.68.

The major European markets also showed substantial moves to the downside on Wednesday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slumped by 1.3 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index plummeted by 2.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday, amid prospects of a drop in crude demand due to weak global economic growth outlook. WTI crude for November delivery tumbled $1.79 or 2.4 percent to $73.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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