Headline indices of the Australia stock market closed mixed after fluctuating in and out of boundary line in light trade on Thursday, 26 July 2018. Among ASX sectors, energy issue outperformed followed by consumer staples industrials, and materials which helped offset weakness in financials, property trusts, and information technology. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.25 point, or 0.00% to 6,247.90. The broader All Ordinaries Index was down 0.41 point, or 0.01%, to 6,341.30.

Financials stocks were key drag on the benchmark, with shares of Macquarie slumped as much as 5%, on succession concerns after the investment bank announced a new chief executive Shemara Wikramanayake.

Shares of energy players were key contributor to the benchmark gains, on firm commodity prices overnight. Crude oil prices rose on data that showed US domestic crude inventories falling to their lowest levels since February 2015, easing worries of oversupply in the market. Among energy players, Woodside (WPL) and Origin (ORG) the standouts, were improving in between 0.5% to 2%.

Fortescue Metals declined more than 2% on reports that the iron ore miner handed down its quarterly production numbers. FMG announced record iron ore shipments of 46.5 million tonnes in the June quarter and 170mt over the year at a cost of US$12.36 per wet metric tonne.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar gained ground against greenback on Thursday, on the back of US president Donald Trump secured concessions from the European Union on trade. The Australian dollar was buying 74.56 US cents, from 74.05 US cents on Wednesday.

OFFSHORE MARKET NEWS: The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 172.16 points, or 0.68% at 25,414 points, while the S&P500 wasa up 25.67 points or 0.91% at 2,846 points. The tech-heavy NASDAQ index was up 91.47 points or 1.17% at 7,932 points.

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