OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks finished higher on factory data. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 2.3 basis points to 0.672%. The WSJ Dollar Index was recently up 0.03% to 87.57. Crude-oil prices posted their first gain in four sessions. Gold futures finished at their highest levels in two weeks.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 1.8% lower at 5953.4, as a clutch of stocks trading ex-dividend combined with weak leads from Wall Street. Shares dropped below the 6000 level within minutes of the open, with only an unexpectedly large second-quarter trade surplus lifting the mood intraday.
U.S. stocks rose after manufacturing data showed the economy continues to bounce back from the coronavirus shutdown.
The S&P 500 was 0.8% higher, advancing further into record territory and opening September with modest gains after its best August since 1986. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.4% a day after the technology-heavy index closed at a record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8%.
Gold futures settled off the session’s highs after better-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data lifted the dollar back up from its lowest level in about two years, but prices for the precious metal still finished at their highest in two weeks.
December gold edged up by 30 cents, or 0.02%, to settle at $1,978.90 an ounce, which marked highest settlement since Aug. 18 for a most-active contract, according to FactSet data. Prices, however, had traded as high as $2,001.20 during the session.
Oil futures edged higher, with U.S. prices posting their first gain in four sessions as a climb in the U.S. ISM manufacturing index in August lifted expectations for energy demand.
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery rose 15 cents, or nearly 0.4%, to settle at $42.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.1884 to highs near US$1.2005 and was near US$1.1915 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US74.09 cents to lows near US73.58 cents and was near US73.70 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from near 105.60 yen per US dollar to JPY106.13 and was near JPY105.95 at the US close.
European sharemarkets fell for a fourth straight session on Tuesday with the pan-European STOXX 600 index down by 0.4%. Travel and leisure (-2.5%) shares were the worst performers after COVID-19 cases spiked in Portugal. Annual inflation in the eurozone fell by 0.2% in August (survey: +0.2%) – the first negative reading since May 2016. The bloc’s jobless rate rose to 7.9% in July (survey:8%). The German Dax index rose by 0.2%. But the UK FTSE index closed lower by 1.7%. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto (+0.4%) and BHP (+2.3%) were both higher.
Earlier in the day in Asia, the Nikkei Stock Average ended virtually unchanged, edging down 0.01% at 23138.07 as falls in telecom stocks countered some gains in trading companies.
Mainland China’s major stock benchmarks ended the first trading session of the month higher, after a dip on Monday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4% to 3410.61, while the Shenzhen Composite Index rose 0.7% to 2310.85. The ChiNext Price Index added 0.8% to settle at 2750.42.