OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks fell as the coronavirus surged globally. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked higher to 0.88%. The WSJ Dollar Index nudged up to 88.82. Oil prices toppled to levels last seen in April. Gold prices ended the day higher.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.6% to 5927.6, completing its worst week since April. The benchmark suffered a 3.9% decline for the week.
U.S. stocks fell, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing out its worst week and month since March in the final lap of the presidential race.
Investors worldwide have been spooked by a record high in coronavirus infections in the U.S., fresh lockdowns in Europe that threaten economic growth and a mixed bag of earnings reports from big technology companies.
The Dow dropped 0.6%, paring its worst losses of the day. The blue-chip index however shed more than 6.4% this week, its worst weekly performance since the height of the pandemic-induced market tumult.
Gold prices ended the session higher, recouping some of the recent losses, but still suffering a third-weekly loss.
Gold for December delivery climbed 0.6% to settle at $1,879.90 an ounce.
Gold futures, based on the most-active contract, ended 1.3% lower for the week, which marked their third-straight weekly decline. Prices also lost 0.8% for the month, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
U.S. benchmark oil prices fell to their lowest level in five months, closing the session 1.1% lower at $35.79 a barrel, and ending with a 10% weekly decline that’s the steepest drop since the week ending Apr. 17, during the initial coronavirus lockdowns.
A recent reimposition of lockdowns in several European countries fueled this week’s sell-off, while rising U.S. oil inventories and production have also pressured WTI prices as it could point to more bloated supplies heading into the weak-demand winter.
Chinese stocks ended the session lower, snapping a three-day winning streak. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.5%. The Shenzhen Composite Index shed 2.3%, while the ChiNext Price Index dropped 1.6%.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average fell 1.5% as consumer stocks declined.