OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks closed higher to finish their best week in three months. The 10-year Treasury note yield ticked up to 0.77%, from 0.764% Thursday. The WSJ Dollar Index fell 0.65% to 88.01. Crude oil prices ended lower on a reported end to the Norway strike. Gold futures settled at a three-week high and were up 1% for the week.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index ended the session up to 6102.2, rounding out their best week since April. The S&P/ASX 200 recovered from a mid-session dip into negative territory to close 0.2 point higher, completing a 5.4% weekly gain amid a business-friendly government budget and optimism over the prospects of further U.S. stimulus. The benchmark index also recorded a fifth-straight gain for the first time since early June.
U.S. stocks rose, giving the S&P 500 its biggest weekly advance in three months as investors welcomed signs pointing to a decisive result in next month’s presidential election.
The S&P 500 climbed 0.9%, ending its second straight week of gains. The broad benchmark was up about 3.8% this week, its best performance since early July. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.4%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.6%.
Gold futures settled at their highest in three weeks, up roughly 1% from a week ago as the U.S. dollar lost ground and investors tracked ongoing fiscal stimulus talks in Washington.
December gold for December delivery on Comex rose $31.10, or 1.6%, to settle at $1,926.20 an ounce, with prices for the most-active contract ending about 1% higher for the week, according to FactSet data.
Oil futures ended lower following a reported end to a strike in Norway that threatened production, but the U.S. benchmark scored a nearly 10% weekly advance as Hurricane Delta neared landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 59 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $40.60 a barrel. For the week, the front-month contract gained 9.6%, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Major currencies were firmer against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from near US$1.1765 to highs near US$1.1830 and was near US$1.1825 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US71.70 cents to highs near US72.40 cents and was near the highs at the US close. And the Japanese yen rose from 105.98 yen per US dollar to JPY105.56 and was near JPY105.59 at the US close. This morning the Aussie has dropped to US72.05 cents; the Euro is lower near US$1.1800 and Japanese yen weaker at JPY105.86.
European sharemarkets rose to fresh three-week highs on Friday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose for the sixth time in seven days, up by 0.6% on the day and up 2.1% over the week. Shares in jewelry maker Pandora rose 17.2% after lifting profit guidance on the back of stronger sales. Travel & leisure and oil & gas sectors led gains. The German Dax index rose by 0.1%. The UK FTSE index rose by 0.7%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto rose by 1.3% while BHP shares rose by 1.2%.
Japanese stocks ended lower, weighed by real estate and railway stocks.
In China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, resuming trading after a weeklong holiday, rose 1.6% to 3,271.08. The Shenzhen Composite Index rose 3.09% to 2319.21 and the ChiNext Price Index was 3.8% higher at 2672.93.