Australian shares gave up early gains with a late-afternoon fade that saw the benchmark
S&P/ASX 200 fall for a third-straight session.
The index eased 0.2% to settle at 6641.0, with energy and telecom stocks struggling the
Rio Tinto lost 0.6% following a quarterly production update and news that development
of its big Mongolian copper mine has been delayed, while Oil Search pulled back 2.2%
after logging a drop in quarterly output and revenue.
Quarterly numbers from the resources space continues Wednesday with fourth-quarter
production due from BHP.
U.S. stocks slipped intraday after a set of mixed second-quarter earnings reports from
three major banks.
The S&P 500 fell about 12 points, or 0.4%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 64
points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.6%.
Stocks have risen to records recently, and investors are watching U.S. corporate
earnings releases for clues on how companies are handling tepid economic growth and trade
tensions between the U.S. and China.
U.S. Treasury yields notched gains intraday after retail sales data showed that
American shoppers increased their spending in June.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.124% in recent trading, according to
Tradeweb, from 2.092% on Monday, after fresh data showed that prices for foreign-made
goods imported to the U.S. fell sharply in June. It was the latest sign that inflation
pressures are tame. Yields rise as bond prices fall.
Gold ended lower as a rise in U.S. retail sales contributed to a stronger U.S. dollar,
pressuring prices for the precious metal.
The upbeat retail sales number, however, also lifted prices for silver, brightening the
metal’s industrial demand prospects.
August gold trading on Comex fell $2.30, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,411.20 an ounce. On
Monday, the yellow metal booked its highest most-active contract settlement since July 3,
which saw a finish at $1,420.90 – the highest since May 2013, FactSet data show.
In other commodity markets, September wheat prices fell 1/4 cent to $5.07 1/2 cents.
Oil prices declined 4% after U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo said that negotiations with Iran were advancing over the Middle Eastern country’s
U.S. crude futures were trading down 3% to $57.76 while global benchmark Brent was off
The WSJ Dollar Index added 0.3% intraday.
Elsewhere, the British pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar in two years
after a debate between the U.K.’s leadership candidates appeared to raise fears of an
Sterling dropped 0.6% against the dollar to $1.24, its lowest since April 2017. It fell
0.3% versus the euro to EUR1.11 after Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the two candidates
vying to take over from departing Theresa May, both said Monday evening they wouldn’t
accept the so-called Irish backstop previously agreed with the European Union as part of
the long negotiations over Brexit.
European shares were on the rise, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 1.35 points, or 0.35%,
The rise was the largest one-day point and percentage gain since July 3 and now is up
for three consecutive trading days.
The German DAX was up 43.63 points, or 0.35%, to 12430.97 and now is up for two
consecutive trading days. The French CAC-40 Index ended the day up 36.17 points, or
0.65%, to 5614.38, while the FTSE 100 Index was up 45.48 points, or 0.60%, to 7577.20.
Japanese stocks end down as falls in electronics and energy stocks offset any
improvement in sentiment as a result of the Federal Reserve’s potential rate cuts.
Sony lost 3.0%. Oil distributor JXTG Holdings dropped 2.3%. The Nikkei Stock Average
ended down 0.7% at 21535.25.
Korean stocks finished higher, buoyed largely by tech shares. The benchmark Kospi rose
0.5% to close at 2091.87. The main index moved in a narrow range for most of the session.
Offshore investors’ purchase of semiconductor stocks led the gains that were nonetheless
limited by worries about likely weak second quarter corporate earnings, Seoul-based
Kiwoom Securities said.
Elsewherer, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended up 0.2% at 28619.62, lifted by casino
stocks. Galaxy Entertainment Group and Sands China gained 2.9% and 2.4%, respectively. A
Macau-based casino news website reported that daily revenues in Macau casinos in the
first two weeks of July were 3% higher than those in June.
Malaysian shares closed lower, in line with broadly-negative Southeast Asian markets.
The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index closed 0.2% lower at 1668.94.
Indian shares close higher, led by gains in some auto and financial stocks. The BSE
Sensex closed 0.6% higher at 39131.04 amid a mixed sentiment across Asia.