OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks rose, capping off a second strong quarter. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked higher to 0.68%. The WSJ Dollar Index slipped to 88.83. Oil pries rose after data showed U.S. inventories shrank. Gold prices fell on the day and the month, but rose for the quarter.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index ended the session down 2.3% at 5815.9, as the market digested the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. All sectors ended in the red, with energy the worst performer, down 4.2%.
U.S. stocks posted a second consecutive quarter of dramatic gains, continuing a historic stock-market recovery that few predicted in the depths of the March downturn.
All three indexes rose for the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average led the way, rising 1.2%.
Gold futures finished lower, contributing a loss for the month as prices responded to a strengthening U.S. dollar that had been weighing on commodity prices.
December gold retreated $7.70, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,895.50 an ounce. For the month, gold lost 4.2%, but advanced 5.2% over the three-month period ended in September, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
U.S. benchmark oil prices settled 2.4% higher at $40.22 a barrel after government data showed another drop in U.S. oil inventories, and as investors increasingly expect some type of coronavirus-relief deal to be passed.
The Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. oil inventories fell by 2 million barrels, and that U.S. oil production remains relatively low.
Major currencies were firmer against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.1685 to highs near US$1.1750 and was near US$1.1725 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US71.00 cents to highs near US71.75 cents and was near US71.65 cents at the US close. The Japanese yen lifted from 105.73 yen per US dollar to JPY105.39 and was near JPY105.47 at the US close.
European sharemarkets generally fell on Wednesday. Investors were underwhelmed by the first US presidential debate. Shares in Total rose 3.1% after the oil major said it would lift annual investment in renewable energy and electricity by 50%. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell by 0.1% to be down 1.5% on the month. The German Dax index and the UK FTSE index both fell by 0.5%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto fell by 1.2% while BHP fell by 0.9%.
China’s Shanghai Composite ended the day down 0.2% in the market’s last trading session before a weeklong holiday. Data showed that China’s economic recovery gathered more steam in September.
Japanese stocks end down, dragged by drops in financial stocks as uncertainty continues over the pace of a global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The Nikkei Stock Average ended 1.5% lower at 23185.12, bringing gains to 4.0% for the third quarter with a 0.2% rise in September.