Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open lower.
U.S. stocks were mixed, with the Dow industrials and S&P 500 making rebounds on comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The 10-year Treasury note yield was down 0.7 basis point to 1.363%, after rising as high as 1.39% earlier in the day. The WSJ Dollar Index was up 0.01% to 85.02. U.S. oil futures ended slightly lower. Gold prices ended lower as the dollar edged higher.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.9% higher, lifted by commodity and financial stocks. The energy sector surged 4.9% on rising oil prices as the benchmark index overcame a sluggish start.
Stocks rebounded after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signalled that an interest-rate increase from the central bank isn’t imminent, easing some concern over rising bond yields. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.5% as of the 4 p.m. close of trading.
The S&P 500, which was down as much as 1.8%, was up by about 0.1%. The broad stock market index was earlier on course for its sixth consecutive session of declines, which would mark its longest losing streak in a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, was up 14 points after falling as much as 363 points earlier.
Gold futures ended with a modest loss, pulling back a day after a rally in prices to their highest in roughly a week, as investors weighed the first day of monetary-policy testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
April gold fell by $2.50, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,805.90 an ounce after touching a high of $1,815.20 – the highest intraday level for a most-active contract since Feb. 16, FactSet data show.
Prices for the U.S. oil benchmark made modest moves on Tuesday, settling a few cents lower for the session after a more than 4% climb a day earlier.
April West Texas Intermediate crude fell 3 cents, or nearly 0.1%, to settle at $61.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after trading as high as $63.
April Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $65.37 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, the highest finish since January 2020.
Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.2178 to lows near US$1.2136 and was near US$1.2145 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US79.24 cents to lows near US78.80 cents and was near US79.10 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen fell from 104.99 yen per US dollar to JPY105.41 yen and was near JPY105.25 at the US close.
European sharemarkets mostly fell on Tuesday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.4% with technology shares down 1.8%. The German Dax index slid 0.6%. But the UK FTSE index lifted 0.2% with shares of tourism IT company Amadeus up 5.9% after the British government announced plans to lift all Covid-19 restrictions by June 21. UK-listed shares in Rio Tinto fell 0.1%, but BHP shares rose 0.4%.
China’s major stock benchmarks closed lower as volatility persisted after trading resumed last week following the Lunar New Year holidays. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2%, while the Shenzhen Composite Index lost 0.85% and the ChiNext Price Index shed 0.8%.