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Australia Stocks Slide, S&P/ASX 200 Down

Australia stocks were lower at the stock trading close on Thursday. Losses in the Energy, Financials, and Consumer Discretionary sectors led shares lower.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 3.05% at the close.

The best performer of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 was Northern Star Resources Ltd. It was up 6.76% or 0.880 points to trade at 13.890 at the close.

Meanwhile, Newcrest Mining Ltd added 5.70% or 1.620 points to end at 30.040. St Barbara Ltd was up 5.33% or 0.160 points to 3.160 in late trade.

The worst performer of the session was Flight Centre Ltd. It fell 10.39% or 1.75 points to trade at 15.10 at the close.

Credit Corp Group Ltd declined 10.31% or 2.10 points to end at 18.27. Webjet Ltd was down 10.11% or 0.47 points to 4.18.

Declining Australia stocks outnumbered the gaining ones on the Sydney Stock Exchange by 943 to 328 and 345 ended unchanged.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX was up 13.84% to 20.169. It measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options.

Australia Stocks Drop Most in Six Weeks

The drop in Australian shares on Thursday was their most in six weeks in the stock market. This was due to the gloomy economic outlook from the U.S. Federal Reserve crushing hopes for a swift recovery.

The decline in the S&P/ASX 200 index at the close of trade snapped a seven-session winning streak.

The Federal Reserve has forecast the U.S. economy would contract 6.5% this year. Fed Chair Jerome Powell emphasized that recovery would be a long road. He also added that policy would have to be proactive with rates near zero out to 2022.

The rising diplomatic tensions between Australia and China also hit investor sentiment. This was after Australia called for an international inquiry into the source and spread of the coronavirus.

Heavyweight financials were the biggest drags on the benchmark. This was with the ‘Big Four’ banks shedding between 4.4% and 6.2%.

Meanwhile, Gold Futures for August delivery was up 1.14% or 19.55 to $1740.25 a troy ounce. Crude oil for delivery in July fell 3.41% or 1.35 to hit $38.25 a barrel. The August Brent oil contract fell 2.92% or 1.22 to trade at $40.51 a barrel.

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