Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks closed mixed, with the S&P 500 paring losses and the Nasdaq Composite joining the broader index in hitting a new closing record while the Dow Industrials slipped. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked up to 1.503% from Friday’s 1.462% level. The WSJ Dollar Index rose 0.03% to 85.56. U.S. oil prices kicked off the week on a mixed note as traders weighed demand prospects. Gold prices settled at their lowest in a month as investors wrestle with the inflation outlook.
Australian markets were closed for a public holiday. The value of market turnover was less than half its daily average for the past month. Gains in power utilities, retirement village operators and dairy companies offset declines for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Auckland International Airport and Mainfreight.
The Nasdaq Composite Index hit a record and the S&P 500 pared losses and closed higher as investors eased up on the reopening trade ahead of a crucial Federal Reserve meeting this week.
The broad S&P 500 rose 0.2%, giving the index a record to follow the one set Friday.
Nasdaq added 0.7% to eclipse the record it hit on April 26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell, shedding 0.3%. Reopening stocks led the market lower, with cruise liners, manufacturers and brick-and-mortar retailers all notching losses. Investors, meanwhile, continued to rotate back into the growing trade, pushing the Nasdaq up a sixth session out of the last seven.
Gold prices fell, with prices marking their lowest settlement in a month as U.S. Treasury yields strengthened a bit ahead of an important meeting of the Federal Reserve.
Gold for August delivery fell 0.7% to settle at $1,865.90 an ounce after prices for the most-active contract settled down about 0.7% for the week. Based on the most active contracts, prices saw their lowest finish since May 14, FactSet data show.
The precious metal has gained 13% over the last 10 weeks and it is seeing some profit-taking ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s monetary policy decision due Wednesday, said Ross Norman, chief executive officer at Metals Daily.
Oil futures started the week on a mixed note, with U.S. crude prices down a few pennies, but with global benchmark crude up on optimism over a recovery in global demand.
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery edged down by 0.04% to settle at $70.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, posting a loss for the first time in three sessions. Prices based on the front-month contract had finished Friday at the highest since October 2018.
“With limited exception, crude and product prices have consistently marched higher in 2021, as the prospect of a global demand recovery, has overshadowed the potential for a new supply to hit the market,” said Robbie Fraser, a global research and analytics manager at Schneider Electric.
Global benchmark August Brent crude, however, gained 0.2% to settle at $72.86 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, the highest finish since April 2019, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.2094 to highs near US$1.2129 and was near US$1.2120 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US77.02 cents to highs near US77.25 cents and was near US77.10 cents at the US close. But the Japanese yen eased from near 109.60 yen per US dollar to JPY110.09 and was near JPY110.08 at the US close.
European sharemarkets were mixed on Monday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 0.2% after touching an all-time high earlier in the session. Energy stocks were up 2%. But the German Dax index fell by 0.1%. And the UK FTSE index climbed 0.2% to its highest level since February 2020 as investors awaited an update on Britain’s Covid-19 lockdown measures. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto (-0.4%) and BHP (-0.5%) both fell.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average closed 0.7% higher, supported by shipping companies and rubber producers.
Chinese stock markets were closed for the Dragon Boat Festival.