The Australian share market is expected to open higher despite a mixed session on Wall Street overnight.The SPI200 futures contract was up 36 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 6,632.0 at 0800 AEST, suggesting an early bounce for the benchmark S&P/ASX200 on Wednesday.
The Aussie dollar is buying 69.29 US cents from 69.52 US cents on Tuesday.
In Australia, consumer confidence and building activity data are released. China inflation data is scheduled.
Major U.S. stock indexes posted mixed results, pulled back and forth by enthusiasm for
hot tech stocks, anxiety about trade-dispute fallout and speculation that central bankers
will do their best to keep the global economy growing.
The S&P 500 index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite each broke two-session losing
streaks, buoyed by technology companies. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was
dragged slightly lower by firms caught up in the tariff battles between the U.S. and
The three main U.S. equity benchmarks, while still hovering near record highs, have
fallen since better-than-expected jobs data on Friday led investors to speculate that the
Federal Reserve may take it slow in easing key interest rates. U.S. Federal Reserve
Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday.
Traders have been treating good news as bad news while they wait on the Fed’s decision.
Investors globally are poised for fresh evidence that the central bank could cut rates as
soon as the end of this month.
Gold futures rose to top $1,400 an ounce, as investors awaited Federal
Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony to Congress which could offer clues about the
prospects for interest rate cuts in coming months.
old for August delivery on Comex rose 50 cents, or 0.04%, to settle at $1,400.50 an
ounce after trading as low as $1,387.50. September silver tacked o 9.7 cents, or 0.6%, at
$15.147 an ounce.
Oil prices closed higher, after being pulled between demand concerns and risks to
supply throughout the day.
Light, sweet crude for August delivery closed up 0.3% at $57.83 a barrel on the New
York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, rose 0.1% to $64.16.
Oil prices have traded in a range in recent weeks as investors weigh jitters over
global economic growth against declining production and geopolitical tensions.
Worries over escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran have helped support the
crude market. This week, Iran began enriching uranium above limits set out in the 2015
nuclear accord and warned it would take further steps if U.S. economic sanctions persist.
Mexico’s peso recovered some lost ground against the dollar after taking a beating on
concerns about the surprise resignation of Finance Minister Carlos Urzua. President
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador tapped Deputy Finance Minister Arturo Herrera to head the
Mr. Herrera, an economist trained at New York University who also worked at the World
Bank, is well regarded by investors. Mexico’s peso pared losses after Herrera’s
appointment, depreciating 1.3% against the dollar to 19.16 after posting an intraday low
Sterling fell to its lowest since early January against the dollar and could be set to
drop closer to 1.20 heading into autumn as fears of a no-deal Brexit at the end of
October intensify, said MUFG.
The dollar’s strength after robust U.S. jobs data, combined with a recent U.K.-U.S.
diplomatic spat, pushed GBP/USD to a low of 1.2440.
European sharemarkets fell on Tuesday. Shares of German chemicals giant BASF fell by 3.3% after the company warned that profit would fall below forecasts for the second quarter and the full year with slowing global growth weighing on the agricultural and auto sectors.
The pan-European STOXX600 index closed down by 0.5%. The German Dax fell by 0.9% and the UK FTSE was down by 0.2%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto rose by 0.1%, but BHP shares fell by 0.9%.