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Australian Market Notably Lower

The Australian stock market is notably lower on Friday following the overnight sell-off on Wall Street amid an escalation in tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Investors also digested local corporate earnings results.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 77.50 points or 1.35 percent to 5,683.40, off a low of 5,674.00. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 76.10 points or 1.31 percent to 5,734.50.

In the mining space, BHP Billiton is losing more than 1 percent, Rio Tinto is down more than 2 percent and Fortescue Metals is lower by almost 3 percent.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking and Westpac are declining almost 2 percent each, while National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank are losing more than 1 percent each.

National Australia Bank reported a 5 percent increase in its cash profit for the third quarter, while revenue grew 2 percent.

Corporate regulator ASIC is investigating Commonwealth Bank over its alleged breach of money laundering and terrorism financing laws. Shares of the bank are down more than 1 percent.

Among oil stocks, Woodside Petroleum is edging down less than 0.1 percent, Oil Search is lower by 0.3 percent and Santos is declining almost 2 percent after crude oil prices fell overnight.

Bucking the trend, gold miner Newcrest Mining is rising almost 2 percent and Evolution Mining is gaining more than 2 percent after gold prices continued to rise on safe-haven appeal.

REA Group reported a 19 percent decline in full-year profit reflecting a write-down of its Asian business, while its net profit from core operations grew 12 percent. The online real-estate advertiser’s shares are falling almost 6 percent.

Ardent Leisure expects to report full-year earnings slightly ahead of its outlook and said the recovery of Dreamworld is likely to take two years. Shares of the theme parks operator are declining 1 percent.

Baby Bunting Group recorded a 47 percent surge in its full-year net profit on double-digit growth in…

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