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Australian Market Declines

(RTTNews) - The Australian market is declining on Tuesday despite the modest gains overnight on Wall Street as investors treaded cautiously ahead of the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Investors also digested mostly weak corporate earnings results.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is declining 65.40 points or 1.06 percent to 6,120.90, after touching a low of 6118.60 in early trades. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 63.50 points or 1.01 percent to 6,200.10. Australian shares rose on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto are declining more than 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is down 0.2 percent

In the banking space, ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac are lower in a range of 0.3 percent to 0.9 percent.

Oil stocks are weak after crude oil prices fell more than 3 percent overnight. Santos is losing almost 3 percent, Oil Search is declining almost 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is down 0.6 percent.

Gold miners are mixed after gold prices edged lower. Evolution Mining is adding 0.4 percent, while Newcrest Mining is losing 0.5 percent.

Bingo Industries reported a 25 percent fall in net profit for the six months to December 31 and also lowered its outlook for full-year underlying earnings. However, the waste management company's shares are rising more than 4 percent.

Blackmores said its chief executive officer Richard Henfrey has resigned after eighteen months in the job. The health supplement company's shares are losing more than 3 percent.

TPG Telecom said it will incur A$228 million of writedowns in its results for the first half of the year, related to its decision to stop building its planned mobile network. The broadband provider's shares are down 0.6 percent.

Caltex Australia reported a better-than-expected full-year profit and said it will launch a A$260 million buyback. The fuel giant's shares are gaining almost 5 percent.

Incitec Pivot said it estimates the recent Queensland floods and a subsequent rail line closure will cost it between A$100 million and A$120 million in aggregate lost earnings before interest and taxes. The chemicals and fertilizer manufacturer's shares are lower by almost 3 percent.

Slater and Gordon reported a net loss after tax for the half year ended December 31. The law firm's shares are losing more than 14 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S dollar on Tuesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7168, up from $0.7148 on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed modestly higher on Monday, paring early gains that came after President Donald Trump announced he intends to postpone a planned increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports. Trading activity was somewhat subdued, however, as traders looked ahead to the second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony before Congress in the coming days also kept some traders on the sidelines.

The Dow edged up 60.14 points or 0.2 percent to 26,091.95, the Nasdaq rose 26.92 points or 0.4 percent to 7,554.46 and the S&P 500 inched up 3.44 points or 1.2 percent to 2,796.11.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Monday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index rose by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures fell to their lowest levels in more than a week on Monday, weighed down by a tweet from the U.S. President Donald Trump that said oil prices were getting too high. WTI crude for April ended down $1.78 or 3.1 percent at $55.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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