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Australia Market falls as materials weakness

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Headline indices of the Australia share market were lower in afternoon on Friday, 12 July 2019, with shares of materials & resources and healthcare issues being notable losers offsetting gains in banks & financials. Around afternoon trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 11.94 points, or 0.2%, at 6,704.20 points, while the broader All Ordinaries shed 11.03 points, or 0.16%, at 6,794.80.

U. S. stocks ended mixed on Thursday. The S&P 500 closed 0.2% higher at 2,999.91. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 227.88 points to close at 27,088.08, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1% to finish at 8,196.04.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in his first day of testimony before Congress on Wednesday, confirmed the U. S. economy was still under threat from disappointing factory activity, tame inflation and a simmering trade war and said the Fed stood ready to act as appropriate. Powell testified before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. Speaking during a second day of congressional testimony, Mr.

Powell reiterated the Fed's intention to act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.

Although investors continue to disagree on how much the Fed will cut ratesopinions vary on whether the central bank will slash by a quarter of a percentage point or half of oneseveral said Mr. Powell's comments all but guarantee at least one rate cut as soon as this month.

Elsewhere, minutes from the European Central Bank's June policy meeting showed that officials are likely to consider injecting fresh stimulus into the eurozone in light of weak inflation data. The minutes suggest policy makers will weigh cutting the bank's key interest rate or restarting its 2.6 trillion euro ($2.92 trillion) bond-buying program.

Among blue chips, BHP Group was down 0.8%, CSL has dropped 0.5% and Rio Tinto was 1.3% lower. Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals has dropped 7.3%, Nearmap is down 6% and Afterpay Touch has dropped 4.1%. Commonwealth Bank was trading 0.8% higher, Westpac was up 0.5% and Wesfarmers has added 0.7%. Oil Search rose 2.7%, New Hope Corp was up 2.3% and Galaxy Resources has firmed 1.6%.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar was down against the U. S. dollar on Friday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6985 after trading below $0.695 earlier in the week.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 12 2019. 08:35 IST