Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks finished higher after strong earnings reports. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.519%, down from 1.549% on Wednesday. The WSJ Dollar Index fell 0.07% to 88.43. U.S. oil prices logged fresh multiyear highs on bets for higher demand. Gold futures posted their third gain in a row after a brief climb above $1,800 an ounce.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.5% higher, ending a three-session losing run amid gains by mining and technology stocks. The benchmark followed a positive lead by U.S. stocks to snap its worst losing streak since mid-August. The financial sector pared overall gains by the ASX 200 amid losses by insurers and Commonwealth Bank, which fell 1.3%.
U.S. stocks jumped, bolstered by better-than-expected earnings and economic data that helped ease investor concerns about inflationary pressures and a slowdown in growth. The S&P 500 rallied 1.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 1.6% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.7%. The third-quarter earnings season is off to a strong start this week, with major banks reporting strong results as the companies move past the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fewer than 25 stocks in the S&P 500 traded lower in the afternoon.
Gold futures stretched their gains into a third consecutive session to settle at the highest price in a month, with analysts attributing the metal’s strength to concerns about inflation. December gold rose 0.2% to settle at $1,797.90 an ounce on Comex, with an intraday high at $1,801.90, following a 2% gain on Wednesday. Prices for the most active contract settled at the highest since Sept. 14, FactSet data show. December copper climbed by 2.6% to $4.632 a pound, the highest finish since June 1.
Oil futures rose, with the U.S. and global benchmark prices notching fresh multiyear highs after the International Energy Agency underlined climbing demand from power generators in the face of soaring prices for natural gas and coal.
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery rose 1.1% to settle at $81.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after tapping a high at $81.68. December Brent crude, the global benchmark, added 1% to $84 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, down from an intraday high of $84.50.
Crude oil saw a much larger supply build than was expected, and a large draw out of the Cushing, Okla., storage hub, said Tariq Zahir, the managing member at Tyche Capital Advisors. The EIA data also showed crude stocks at the Cushing down by 1.9 million barrels last week.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.1622 to lows near US$1.1583 and was near US$1.1595 at the US close. But the Aussie dollar lifted from lows near US73.81 cents to highs near US74.26 cents and was near US74.15 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from 113.28 yen per US dollar to near JPY113.70 at the US close.
European share markets closed higher on Thursday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 1.2% with mining shares up by 3.3%. British e-commerce company THG was the strongest performer with its shares rebounding 10.6% after a disappointing capital markets day earlier in the week. The German Dax index lifted by 1.4% and the UK FTSE index rose by 0.9%. In London, trade shares in Rio Tinto and BHP were both up by 3.7%.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.5%, led by electronics- and equipment-related stocks. Along with a boost to risk sentiment in most of Asia from higher U.S. stock futures, Japan’s equity market was buoyed by dovish comments from a BOJ official, Oanda said, referring to a Reuters report of a speech by BOJ board member Asahi Noguchi.
Chinese stocks ended the session mixed, as property developers and the pharma sector retreated, while carmakers broadly rose. The property sector’s rebound from late September’s low levels appeared to be losing steam, with market leaders China Vanke down 4.5%, Seazen Holdings 3.5% lower and Poly Developments off 2.9%. Pharma stocks also slipped. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.1%, while the Shenzhen Composite Index and the ChiNext Price Index each gained 0.2%.