OPENING CALL: The Australian share market uncertain open for New Year. The SPI200 futures contract was last down 138 points, on December 31,
Huawei Technologies said its revenue rose to a record $122 billion this year despite the Trump administration’s campaign to curtail its global business, but predicted more challenges in 2020.
Starting this week, Tesla loses a U.S. tax credit that effectively lowered the price of its vehicles and helped build interest in fledgling electric cars. Growth for the Silicon Valley auto maker increasingly looks tied to China, where this week it delivered the first of its locally made Model 3 compact cars.
Each Market in Focus
Australia’s benchmark index fell 1.8% in its last trading session of the year, dragged by a majority of its components.
The S&P/ASX 200 closed the session 1.8% lower at 6684.1 but gained 18% in 2019, its best annual performance since 2009.
Among industrial stocks, Sydney Airport fell 1.5%, while Transurban Group shed 1.9% after it traded ex-dividend.
Property stocks were also lower, with Vicinity Centres down 1.6% after it also went ex-dividend. Large mining stocks were also broadly lower, with BHP Group down 1.3% and Rio Tinto off 1.2%.
Gold miners, however, rose as investors looked for safe havens; Saracen Mineral gained 1.9%, while Evolution Mining closed 2.4% higher.
On the final trading day of 2019, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 74 points, also 0.3%.
All three indexes are up more than 20% for the year. Stocks around the world closed out one of their best years over the past decade,
defying money managers who began 2019 expecting threats from the U.S.-China trade fight to slow growth or upend the bull market. U.S. stock markets are closed Wednesday for the New Year’s holiday.
Gold futures ended 2019 at the highest level since late September, after a strong rally for the precious metal produced the sharpest return in nearly a decade, despite a tandem uptrend for equity indexes.
Gold for February delivery on Comex closed up $4.50, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,523.10 an ounce, marking the highest finish for gold since Sept. 24 and its sharpest annual gain for the metal since 2010, according to FactSet data.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.13% to 415.69 in a holiday-shortened day as traders took profit on the final day of the year.
The pan-European index has risen by more than 23% over 2019 as a whole, according to FactSet, and reached record highs in recent days. Trading volumes, however, were very thin, with equity markets closed in Germany and Italy.
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 fells 0.6%, hurt by a stronger pound. Meanwhile, France’s CAC 40 was down 0.1% and Spain’s Ibex 35 fell 0.6%.