The Australian share market is expected to open higher after a
positive lead from Wall Street.
The SPI200 futures contract was up 28 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 6,414.0 at 0700
AEST, suggesting an early bounce for the benchmark S&P/ASX200 on Friday.
Wall Street finished higher overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.71
per cent, the S&P 500 up 0.61 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite up 0.53
The Aussie dollar is buying 69.77 US cents from 69.72 US cents on Thursday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced for a fourth consecutive session, buoyed by
supportive commentary from global central banks that helped shore up investor confidence
earlier this week.
The blue-chip index climbed 181.09 points, or 0.7%, to 25720.66. The S&P 500 rose
17.34, or 0.6%, to 2843.49, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 40.08, or 0.5%,
7615.55. All three major indexes are up at least 2.2% this week, and the Dow is on pace
to snap a six-week losing streak.
Stocks have climbed in recent sessions amid indications that the Federal Reserve might
cut interest rates to boost the economy. An escalation in trade tensions have darkened
the Fed’s economic outlook, making a rate cut possible, if not at the central bank’s
meeting June 18-19, then possibly in July or later, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Investors also got other signs of accommodative policy, as the European Central Bank
said it was keeping interest rates unchanged for now. Policy officials extended the
period during which they expected to leave rates on hold from the end of 2019 to at least
through the first half of 2020. The euro rose against the dollar to trade 0.5% higher.
Gold prices rose, extending their longest winning streak in nearly 18 months
as the dollar fell.
Gold for August delivery, the most-active futures contract, added 0.7% to $1,342.70 a
troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices logged a
seventh consecutive advance and are near their highest levels of 2019, hit in February.
The rally comes with many analysts now expecting the Federal Reserve to lower interest
rates and U.S. economic data softening. Gold is on its longest winning streak since
Bets on lower interest rates and a U.S. growth slowdown have hurt the dollar after a
stronger U.S. currency limited gold’s gains earlier in the year. A weaker dollar makes
commodities denominated in the U.S. currency cheaper for overseas buyers. The WSJ Dollar
Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 other currencies, fell 0.2%.
Oil prices rose, a day after U.S. crude futures fell into a bear market by declining
more than 20% from their recent highs amid growing worries over global growth.
West Texas Intermediate futures, the U.S. crude benchmark, gained 1.8% to $52.59 a
Brent crude, the global price gauge, was up 1.7% at $61.67 a barrel.
Signs of progress in border-security talks between the U.S. and Mexico helped buoy oil
prices later in the session. President Trump said “progress was made” in the continuing
discussions but warned that Mexico needed to do more to head off tariffs planned for next
week on $350 billion in imports.
The U.S. dollar slipped along with U.S. Treasury yields intraday ahead of the release
of the monthly jobs report on Friday.
The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others,
fell about 0.02% to 90.28.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which falls as bond prices rise, ticked down to
2.097% from 2.119% on Wednesday. Lower Treasury yields can temper appetite for the U.S.
dollar from income-seeking investors globally.
Investors will be closely watching the monthly jobs report for signs on how robust the
U.S. economy is. The data could recalibrate expectations of future interest-rate cuts by
the Federal Reserve.
The euro rose 0.5% against the dollar in recent trading, FactSet data showed.
Earlier in the day in Asia, shares in Shanghai were down 1%, while those in Hong Kong
and Tokyo were flat.
Hong Kong stocks ended their holiday-shortened week near Wednesday’s closing levels
amid muted moves for many Asian equity indexes. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.2% on the week
to 26947.56 and the China Enterprises Index lost 0.2% amid 1%-2% declines for mainland
Chinese stocks lagged all day ahead of a Friday holiday as Asian equities in general
stuck close to Wednesday’s closing levels. With selling accelerating this afternoon,
Shenzhen indexes fell more than 2% while bigger stocks dropped about 1%. The telecom
sector in the CSI 300 slumped 4.5% to erase most of this week’s gain as the government
issued its first 5G licenses.
The Hang Seng Index ended a four-week losing streak, the longest since October. But the
CEI logged a fifth-straight drop in shedding 0.5%, matching its October slide.
Indian shares ended among the top losers in Asia after falling throughout the day.
A widely-anticipated lending rate cut by the central did not help and the benchmark
Sensex closed 1.4% lower at 39529.72. Only 8/30 of the index constituents closed higher.