Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks closed slightly higher, ending the week mixed. The 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.45%, compared with 1.46% on Thursday. The WSJ Dollar Index rose 0.46% to 85.55.
U.S. oil prices ended at their highest level in more than two years as the IEA forecasted pre-Covid-19 demand levels by late 2022. Gold prices settled lower as dollar strength pulled prices to their lowest finish in more than a week.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.1% to a record close, driven by materials, health and tech stocks. The benchmark’s second consecutive record rounded out a 0.2% weekly rise. Ten of the 14 best-performing materials stocks were gold miners. The sector put on 1.3%. Financials, the ASX 200’s largest sector by market capitalization, dropped 1.9% over the week.
The S&P 500 notched a fresh high, capping its third consecutive week of gains. The broad stock-market gauge hugged the flatline for most of the trading session before edging up 0.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4%.
Stocks have drifted higher while volatility has edged lower in recent sessions as investors have been weighing the economic reopening against risks of rising inflation.
Fresh data Friday showed that consumer sentiment in the U.S. rose in early June while inflation expectations eased.
The Nikkei Stock Average ended down 0.03% as gains in pharmaceutical stocks help offset losses in financial and machinery stocks. The Topix, a broader market index, declined 0.1%.
Gold prices declined, with strength in the U.S. dollar helping to send prices to their lowest finish in more than a week.
Gold for August delivery fell 0.9% to settle at $1,879.60 an ounce on Comex – the lowest settlement since June 3, FactSet data show. Prices based on the most active contracts settled down about 0.7% for the week. Gold prices are lower year to date but have climbed by more than 9% for the quarter so far.
Oil prices climbed, tallying a third weekly gain to finish at a more than two-year high, as the International Energy Agency said it expects global oil demand to return to pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels by the end of next year.
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery rose 0.9% to settle at $70.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange — the highest since October 2018. Based on the front-month contracts, WTI prices saw a weekly rise of nearly 1.9%, their third weekly climb in a row, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
August Brent crude, the global benchmark, added 0.2% to $72.69 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Brent settled at the highest since April 2019 and scored weekly climb of 1.1%.
Major currencies were mostly weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.2194 to lows near US$1.2091 and was near US$1.2106 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US77.75 cents to lows near US76.89 cents and was near US77.02 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from near 109.31 yen per US dollar to JPY109.83 and was near JPY109.63 at the US close.
European sharemarkets advanced on Friday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 0.7% to a record high, up by 1.1% over the week. The German Dax index was 0.8% higher. And the UK FTSE index climbed 0.7% after data showed the UK’s annual economic growth, as measured by GDP, surged by a record 27.6% in April. In London trade shares in Rio Tinto and BHP both lifted by 1.4%.
Chinese stock markets finished the session broadly lower, weighed by consumer and communications stocks. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.6% and the Shenzhen Composite Index declined 0.6%, while the ChiNext Price Index, which measures emerging industries and startups, closed 0.4% higher.