OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open lower. The SPI futures contract expected to open 91 points down.
U.S. consumer spending rebounded in May, but virus surge poses economic threat Americans cautiously returned to the marketplace last month, helping the economy slowly dig out from a severe recession. But a new rise in coronavirus infections threatens the nascent recovery. Household spending on goods and services rose a record 8.2% in May, the government said Friday.
Facebook tightens controls on speech as Ad boycott grows under mounting pressure from advertisers, Facebook Inc. said it would start labeling political speech that violated its rules and take other measures to prevent voter
suppression and protect minorities from abuse.
Australian shares rose 1.5% to 5904.1, with bank stocks leading the way as the S&P/ASX 200 pared its losses for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 700 points and limped home to a weekly loss as daily coronavirus infections increased rapidly, fanning worries about a slowdown in the economy’s reopening.
The S&P 500 fell 2.4% as of the 4 p.m. ET close of trading. The Dow lost 730 points, or 2.8%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 2.6%. The spreading cases around the country put a halt to the optimism that had buoyed markets in recent weeks as states reopened, sending major indexes toward weekly losses after a dramatic rally since March.
Gold futures finished higher to score a gain for the week, as a rise in infections of COVID-19 raised the potential for another round of shutdowns. August gold rose $9.70, or nearly 0.6%, to settle at $1,780.30 an ounce after tapping
an intraday low of $1,754 and posting declines in each of the past two sessions. Prices on Tuesday had settled at the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 4, 2012.
Oil prices edged lower to cap the second weekly decline since April, as investors adjusted expectations to account for rising crude inventories and surging U.S. coronavirus cases. U.S. crude futures for delivery in August dropped 0.6% to $38.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That marked a 3.4% decline in front month futures for the week.
Oil prices have staged a weekslong recovery to trade above $40 as of last week. But prices dropped below that level after government data showed U.S. crude storage swelled more than analysts and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected.
Major currencies were lower against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.1237 to lows near US$1.1196 and was near US$1.1217 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US68.90 cents to lows near US68.39 cents and was near US68.60 cents at the US close. The Japanese yen eased from JPY106.79 per US dollar to JPY107.32 and was near JPY 107.21 at the US close.
European sharemarkets closed lower on Friday with the panEuropean STOXX 600 index down by 0.4%. European Central Ban President Christine Lagarde said the economic recovery will be “restrained”, but the euro zone is “probably past” the worst of the virus crisis. The German Dax index fell by 0.7%, but the UK FTSE index rose by 0.2%. London-listed shares in Rio Tinto rose by 0.1%, but BHP shares fell by 0.1%.
Earlier in Asia, Japanese stocks settled 1.1% higher to 22512.08, led by stocks of electronics companies that may help enable a more digitally connected society in a post-coronavirus era. Hong Kong shares extended morning losses to end lower, with the Hang Seng Index down 0.9% at 24549.99 as telco and oil-related stocks weighed.