Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks ended lower on weak China data and strong U.S. jobs data. Treasury yields settled lower after Federal Reserve offcials suggested skipping a rate increase in June. The WSJ Dollar Index ended higher amid growing optimism the debt-ceiling impasse will be over before the Treasury runs short of funds. Oil prices continued to decline. Gold logged its highest finish in a week, helped by sinking Treasury yields
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 1.6% lower, slumping to its largest one-day loss since March 10, as inflation data raised market expectations of further interest-rate rises. Commodity stocks led declines.
Major stock indexes closed lower as weak economic data out of China pressured global markets and U.S. job opening numbers showed a still-hot labor market. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index both retreated 0.6%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.4% lower. U.S. Labor Department data showed an increase in job openings in April, reversing three months of declines and renewing investor concerns that the Fed isn’t finished lifting interest rates. An official gauge of China’s manufacturing activity slipped unexpectedly in May even after the country eased its strict zero-Covid restrictions.
Gold prices climbed as sinking Treasury yields helped lift prices for the yellow metal to their highest finish in a week. August gold futures rose by nearly 0.3% to settle at $1,982.10 per ounce on Comex. Falling Treasury yields have helped lift the price of gold this week. Yields have fallen in the days since President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.
Oil futures declined after weak economic data out of China underlined worries about demand from one of the world’s largest crude importers. West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery fell 2% to settle at $68.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. July Brent crude, the global benchmark, lost 1.2% at $72.66 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe on the contract’s expiration day.
Oil prices got “slammed on concerns that the Chinese economy hit a brick wall, talk that OPEC won’t back up the tough talk by Saudi Arabia, and the possibility that the U.S. might be working towards a plan that could lead toward the lifting of some sanctions on Iran,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group.
In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Index ended 1.4% lower, dragged by declines in trading houses and steelmakers, as profit-taking kicked in amid continued uncertainty over the inflation and economic outlook. Chinese stocks ended lower after the release of May manufacturing data, which fell into contractionary territory in a further sign that the economic recovery is cooling. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.6%, the Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 0.4%, and the ChiNext Price Index closed 1.1% lower.