The Australian share market is expected to open slightly higher.
The SPI200 futures contract was up 12 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 6,565.0 at 0700
AEST, suggesting a positive start for the benchmark S&P/ASX200 on Wednesday.
Wall Street finished flat overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.05
per cent, the S&P 500 down 0.03 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite down
0.01 per cent.
The Aussie dollar is buying 69.62 US cents from 69.55 US cents on Tuesday.
U.S. equity markets ticked slightly lower as investors wavered between fears of rising
trade tensions and hopes that policy makers will bolster markets with fresh stimulus
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite each fell
less than 0.1%, snapping a weeklong streak of gains. The Dow closed down 14.17 points to
Markets had been spurred higher by hints that the Federal Reserve may lower interest
rates. The S&P has rebounded 5.2% since Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said June 4 that the
central bank is monitoring the impact of trade tensions on the economy and would respond
if necessary. The Federal Reserve set to meet next week, and investors are looking for
any clues as to whether rate cuts lie ahead for the world’s largest economy.
Gold settled higher, recovering earlier losses, as appetite for riskier
assets waned and U.S. stock indexes weakened.
Gold for June delivery on Comex rose $1.90, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,331.20 an ounce
after posting as loss of 1.3% on Monday. Futures prices still trade roughly 1.6% higher
month to date.
Oil prices made only modest moves, settling roughly unchanged for the session, as
traders weighed uncertainty surrounding a supply decision by OPEC and its allies and
awaited a report that’s expected to reveal a modest, second straight weekly rise in U.S.
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange
rose by one cent, or 0.02%, to settle at $53.27 a barrel, while August Brent crude
settled unchanged at $62.29 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. .
A broad range of emerging market currencies rose against the dollar, boosted by hopes
that the Federal Reserve is getting closer to cutting interest rates.
The South African rand was up around 1% against the dollar, while the Brazilian real,
Mexican peso and other currencies also gained.
Hopes of Fed easing have in recent weeks spurred gains in stocks and powered emerging
market currencies, which become more attractive to yield-seeking investors when US rates
The WSJ Dollar Index was recently down 0.1%.
Earlier in the day in Asia, investors moved past Monday’s muted Chinese trade data and
mainland equities led fresh broad gains for the region.
With risk sentiment improving globally, Chinese equities broadly jumped 3%, their best
day in a month. The gains came as industrial metals also climbed, led by a sharp bounce
in Chinese iron-ore futures.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong stocks were up a further 1% after leading Asia Monday with 2%
The Philippines’ stock benchmark saw a 57-point downward adjustment at day’s end,
making that market the only one in Asia to have logged a decline. The Philippine Stock
Exchange Index ended down 0.2% at 8030.98. That ended a three-day winning streak for the
benchmark and is just the second drop in the past two weeks.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange gained 2.6%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.8% and
Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.3%.
Meanwhile, India shares gained for the third straight session — a first since late-May
— helped by automobile and banking names. The benchmark Sensex ended up 0.4% at 39950.46
with Tata Motors ending 2.7% higher while Here MotorCorp closed up 1.1%.