Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open lower.
U.S. stocks slipped following a mixed bag of economic data. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ended flat at 0.88%. The WSJ Dollar Index fell to 86.71. Oil prices continued to climb as data showed U.S. inventories fell. Gold prices nudged higher.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6% as the energy and financial sectors powered a third straight daily gain.
The Dow Jones Industrial retreated, sliding back below 30000 after mixed U.S. economic data.
The blue-chip index fell 0.6%, a day after breaching the 30000 milestones for the first time. The S&P 500 edged down 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite finished the day up 0.5%.
The declines followed a slate of mixed readings on the U.S. economic recovery, with some data releases brought forward due to Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. markets are shut Thursday and close early on Friday.
Weekly figures from the U.S. Labor Department showed jobless claims rose for a second consecutive week. Meanwhile, durable goods orders rose by more than forecast.
Consumer spending rose in October for the sixth consecutive month, according to the Commerce Department, though the gain was the smallest over that period.
Gold futures booked a meager gain, as the precious metal attempted to recover from a series of sharp declines that were prompted partly by progress on vaccines and treatments for the economy-disrupting coronavirus.
December gold nudged up 0.1% to settle at $1,805.50 an ounce.
Oil futures continued to steam higher, settling at a more-than-eight-month high on continued optimism over progress toward Covid-19 vaccines and a drop in U.S. crude inventories.
West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery rose 1.8% to close the session at $45.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. January Brent crude advanced 1.6%, to settle at $48.61 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro eased from highs near US$1.1928 to lows near US$1.1880 but was near US$1.1915 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US73.24 cents to highs near US73.73 cents and was near US73.65 cents at the US close. The Japanese yen eased from near 104.53 yen per US dollar to JPY104.25 and was near JPY104.45 at the US close.
European sharemarkets closed lower on Wednesday. The panEuropean STOXX 600 index fell by just 0.1%. The German Dax index was broadly flat. But the UK FTSE index lost 0.6%. Virgin Money shares shed 4.8% after the lender reported a drop in annual profits. Continuing Brexit uncertainty also weighed on UK shares with Rio Tinto (-2.7%) and BHP (-1.4%) both down.
Earlier Wednesday, mainland China’s major stock benchmarks fell as most sectors ended in the red after a recent upturn. The Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.2% lower, the Shenzhen Composite Index slipped 1.7% and the ChiNext Price Index shed 2.2%. Miners and smelters of copper and other non-ferrous metals led the declines.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, however, advanced 0.3%, as banks, oil producers and other cyclical stocks made strong gains amid vaccine-driven hopes for a global economic recovery.
Japanese stocks climbed 0.5%, led by gains in electronics and transportation stocks, boosted by the easing U.S. political uncertainty and a brightening global outlook.