Australian Market Rises


The Australian stock market is rising on Monday, the first trading day of the new financial year, following the modest gains on Wall Street Friday even as worries about trade tensions persisted. U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are expected to take effect later this week.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 12.50 points or 0.20 percent to 6,207.10, off a high of 6,213.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 14.00 points or 0.22 percent to 6,303.70.

The major miners are mostly higher. Rio Tinto is rising 0.5 percent and Fortescue Metals is advancing more than 1 percent, while BHP Billiton is declining almost 1 percent.

Yancoal Australia said it has applied for a dual listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to increase liquidity in its shares and diversify its investor base. The coal miner's shares are rising more than 7 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are higher in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.7 percent, while ANZ Banking is edging down less than 0.1 percent.

Gold miners are weak despite higher gold prices. Evolution Mining is down 0.7 percent and Newcrest Mining is lower by 0.2 percent.

Oil stocks are also mostly lower despite crude oil prices rising to a four-year high. Oil Search is edging down 0.1 percent and Santos is lower by 0.5 percent, while Woodside Petroleum is rising 0.4 percent.

Automotive Holdings Group said that China's HNA Group has pulled out of a A$280 million deal to buy its refrigerated logistics business after failing to obtain Australian regulatory approval. Shares of Automotive Holdings are losing almost 9 percent.

On the economic front, Australia will provide June figures for job ads, the inflation forecast from TD Securities and the Performance of Manufacturing Index from AiG.

In addition, the Reserve Bank of Australia will see June results for its commodity price index.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is slightly higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local unit was trading at US$0.7408, up from Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks pared initial gains to closed modestly higher on Friday. Strength in the financial sector helped to drive the markets higher early in the day after most of the nation's largest banks passed the Federal Reserve's annual stress test. The late-day pullback may have reflected lingering concerns about the global economic impact of recent trade disputes between the U.S. and other major economies.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq briefly dipped into negative territory but inched up 6.62 points or 0.1 percent to 7,510.30. The Dow edged up 55.36 points or 0.2 percent to 24,271.41, and the S&P 500 crept up 2.06 points or 0.1 percent to 2,718.37.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Friday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.9 percent and the German DAX Index jumped by 1.1 percent.

Crude oil prices continued to surge Friday, marking a 20 percent year-to-date increase in crude oil prices. WTI crude added $0.70 or nearly 1 percent to settle at $74.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange - the highest in four years.