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Australia Stocks Close Lower; S&P/ASX 200 Down 0.51%

Australian stocks ended lower on Wednesday, with the S&P/ASX 200 index declining by 0.51%, primarily due to losses in the Utilities, IT, and Industrials sectors.

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Top Performers

Despite the overall market decline, some stocks showed notable gains. Healius Ltd (ASX) led the session, rising 8.61% or 0.12 points to close at 1.45. St Barbara Ltd (ASX) followed, gaining 4.35% or 0.01 points to end at 0.24. Woodside Energy Ltd (ASX) also performed well, up 2.69% or 0.73 points to finish at 27.82.

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Worst Performers

On the other hand, several stocks saw significant declines. Nickel Mines Ltd (ASX) was the worst performer, falling 7.61% or 0.07 points to close at 0.85. Unibail Rodamco Westfield (ASX) decreased by 4.40% or 0.28 points to end at 6.09. Atlas Arteria (ASX) also struggled, down 4.35% or 0.22 points to 4.84, reaching a three-year low.

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Market Breadth

The Sydney Stock Exchange saw more declining stocks than advancing ones, with 727 stocks falling compared to 412 rising, while 480 stocks remained unchanged.

Volatility and Commodities

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, measuring the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, remained unchanged at 11.68.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for August delivery increased by 0.25% or 5.80, reaching $2,332.40 per troy ounce. Crude oil for July delivery rose 0.80% or 0.62 to $78.52 a barrel, while the August Brent oil contract climbed 0.61% or 0.50 to $82.42 a barrel.

Currency Market

In the currency market, AUD/USD remained relatively unchanged, rising 0.15% to 0.66. AUD/JPY increased by 0.24% to 104.06. The US Dollar Index Futures, which tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies, declined by 0.36% to 104.82.

Overall, the Australian market faced a challenging session with significant sector-specific declines, despite some stocks achieving gains and commodities showing positive trends.

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