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(RTTNews.com) – The Australian stock market is flat on Monday after opening higher following the mostly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday and the surge in crude oil prices after the OPEC meeting. Gains by energy and mining stocks were offset by weakness in the banking sector.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 0.60 points or 0.01 percent to 6,225.80, after touching a high of 6,250.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 1.60 points or 0.03 percent to 6,323.70.

Among the major miners, BHP Billiton is rising almost 2 percent, Fortescue Metals is adding more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is up 1 percent.

Gold miner Evolution Mining is rising 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is adding almost 1 percent after gold prices edged higher.

Oil stocks are also rising following a surge in crude oil prices after the OPEC meeting. Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Oil Search are advancing almost 2 percent each.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking is down 0.1 percent, while National Australia Bank and Westpac are edging higher by 0.1 percent each.

Commonwealth Bank said it will demerge and list its wealth management and mortgage broking businesses, while Comminsure is also subject to a strategic review. The bank shares are declining almost 1 percent.

Metcash reported a full-year loss of A$149.5 million and also announced a A$125 million share buyback. Shares of the IGA and Foodland supermarkets supplier are gaining almost 6 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local unit was trading at US$0.7429, up from US$0.7404 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Friday following a rally by energy stocks, as the price of crude oil spiked higher on news out of the closely watched OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria. Traders largely shrugged off lingering trade concerns even as President Donald Trump threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all cars imported to the U.S. from the European Union.

The Nasdaq dipped 20.14 points or 0.3 percent to 7,692.82, while the Dow climbed 119.19 points or 0.5 percent to 24,580.89 and the S&P 500 rose 5.13 points or 0.2 percent to 2,754.89.

The major European markets all moved to the upside on Friday. The German DAX Index climbed by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index surged up by 1.7 percent.

Crude oil prices rose Friday after OPEC agreed to raise output, but neglected to say by how much. WTI crude for August delivery soared $3.04 or 4.6 percent to $68.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Read the original article on RTTNews (http://www.rttnews.com/2907785/australian-market-pares-gains.aspx)

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