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Stock Market in Australia Extends Rally

Australian stock market is higher today, extending gains from the previous session, following the positive lead overnight from Wall Street. In mid-day trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 24.90 points or 0.43% to 5,797.70, off a high of 5,804.80. The broader All Ordinaries Index is rising 25.20 points or 0.43% to 5,827.00.

The AUD is lower against the U.S. dollar today after iron ore prices fell sharply. In early trades, the local unit was trading at US$0.7537, down from US$0.7550 on Tuesday. 

Gold miners are also advancing. Newcrest Mining is adding 0.4 percent and Evolution Mining is rising more than 1 percent. The major miners are mostly lower amid the sharp fall in iron ore prices. 

BHP Billiton is adding 0.7 percent, while Rio Tinto is losing 1 percent and Fortescue Metals is lower by more than 1 percent.

Among oil stocks, Oil Search is up 0.6 percent and Woodside Petroleum is rising 0.3 percent, while Santos is declining almost 1 percent. 

 

Westpac Bank revealed that consumer confidence in Australia ebbed again in June, as its index slipped 1.8 percent to a score of 96.2. That follows the 1.1 percent decline in May to 98.0. 

The index has declined in three straight months and continues to rest beneath the break-even line of 100 that separates optimists from pessimists.

 

Nevertheless, investors are cautious ahead of the release of Chinese economic data and the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision later in the day. 

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Aussie Shares Plummet as Iron Ore Drops

The Aussie has dropped against all major developed counterparts this quarter and yet analysts are mystified at the currency’s capacity to cling to its post float average of about 75 U.S. cents even as Australia’s yield advantage evaporates. 

Stocks are lagging behind most of the rest of the world and swaps traders see the nation as the only major economy where interest-rate cuts are possible in the coming year. 

 

Iron Ore spot price fell 1.8 per cent to $US55.97 a tonne, a day after it tumbled 2.5 per cent. It’s a rough start to the month and reflects continuing concerns about oversupply and slowing demand in China. 

In addition, the Australian dollar is losing its yield advantage over the greenback with the difference between the two nation’s 10-year bonds at 18 points.  

Wall Street powered higher overnight seemingly unfazed by President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US from the Paris climate agreement. All three key benchmarks were rising into the closing bell. The S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at all-time highs as banks rebounded. The Nasdaq Composite and Nasdaq 100 indexes also each advanced to fresh records.

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