The Australian stock market is modestly lower on Wednesday following the mixed cues from Wall Street after the conclusion of the Trump-Kim summit. Investors now await the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement later in the day. Mining and bank stocks are among the major losers.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is down 6.70 points or 0.11 percent to 6,047.70, off a low of 6,031.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is losing 6.00 points or 0.10 percent to 6,158.80.
Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is down 0.5 percent, BHP Billiton is declining 0.6 percent and Fortescue Metals is lower by more than 1 percent as a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on copper prices.
Shares of Atlas Iron are gaining almost 5 percent after Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting reportedly acquired a 19.6 percent stake in the company, just days after Fortescue Metals bought a 15 percent stake.
In the banking space, National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking and Commonwealth Bank are lower in a range of 0.2 percent to 0.7 percent, while Westpac is up 0.3 percent.
Oil stocks are also weak despite higher crude oil prices. Santos is declining 0.6 percent, while Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search is losing more than 1 percent each.
Gold miners are mixed after gold prices edged lower overnight. Evolution Mining is rising almost 1 percent, while Newcrest Mining is down 0.3 percent.
Office manager Investa Office Fund has agreed to be acquired by U.S. private equity group Blackstone for $3.14 billion. Investa's shares are adding 0.2 percent.
Share of APA Group are losing more than 1 percent following news that the energy infrastructure company has opened its books to a Chinese consortium led by CK Infrastructure Holdings after receiving a A$13 billion takeover proposal.
In economic news, Australia will see June results for the consumer confidence index from Westpac today.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday. The local unit was trading at US$0.7574, down from US$0.7610 on Tuesday.
On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Tuesday in choppy trading as traders looked ahead to monetary policy announcements by the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. Traders largely shrugged off the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
While the Dow edged down 1.58 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 25,320.73, the Nasdaq climbed 43.87 points or 0.6 percent to 7,703.79 and the S&P 500 rose 4.85 points or 0.2 percent to 2,786.85.
The major European moved to the downside on Tuesday. While the German DAX Index closed just below the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index both fell by 0.4 percent.
Crude oil prices rose on Tuesday amid indications that Saudi Arabia is ramping up production. WTI crude rose $0.26 to $66.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by P2PNews Staff Writer