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Australian stock market sharply lower

written by Bella Palmer

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 155.50 points or 2.12 percent to 7,176.70, and the broader All Ordinaries Index declined 146.90 points or 1.93 percent to 7,482.80

The Australian stock market is sharply lower on Friday, giving up the sharp gains in the previous session. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is below the 7,200 level following negative cues overnight from Wall Street, dragged by materials, financials and energy stocks.

Rising inflation and renewed concerns about the impact of Chinese real estate major Evergrande's debt woes are weighing on market sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 155.50 points or 2.12 percent to the day's low of 7,176.70. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 146.90 points or 1.93 percent to 7,482.80. Australian markets ended sharply higher on Thursday.

Among major miners, BHP Group and OZ Minerals are losing nearly 2 percent each, while Mineral Resources is dropping more than 4 percent, Fortescue Metals is down 1.5 percent and Rio Tinto is lower by almost 3 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Oil Search is losing more than 3 percent, Woodside Petroleum is down almost 1 percent and Origin Energy is shedding more than 1 percent, while Santos and Beach energy are lower by almost 4 percent each. Among tech stocks, Xero is losing almost 1 percent, while Appen is adding almost 1 percent. WiseTech Global and Afterpay are edging up 0.1 percent.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking is losing 1.5 percent and Commonwealth Bank is declining more than 3 percent, while National Australia Bank and Westpac are down more than 2 percent each.

Gold miners are higher. Newcrest Mining and Resolute Mining are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Evolution Mining is adding more than 4 percent, Gold Road Resources is up almost 2 percent and Northern Star Resources is higher by almost 4 percent.

Optus has found a buyer for its Australian mobile tower network, with AustralianSuper picking up a 70 per cent stake in the company operating the infrastructure for $1.9 billion.

Under the terms of the deal, AustralianSuper will become the majority owner of Australia Tower Network (ATN), a subsidiary of Optus that operates the 2,312 mobile towers and rooftop sites.

In economic news, the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in September, and at a faster pace, the latest survey from Markit Economics showed on Friday with a manufacturing PMI score of56.8. That's up from 52.0 in August and it moves further above 50 that separates expansion from contraction.


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