OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks closed near session highs, helped by post-earnings gains by Apple, Facebook and Amazon. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury ticked down to 0.537% Friday, from 0.540% on Thursday. The WSJ Dollar Index rose 0.50% to 88.70. Crude-oil prices settled slightly higher after a small fall in the U.S. rig count. Gold prices were higher, notching their best monthly gains in eight years.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 2.0% lower at 5927.8, slumping to their worst session in five weeks as worries mount over the local resurgence of the coronavirus. Every sector lost ground as the S&P/ASX 200 notched a 1.6% weekly loss.
U.S. stocks rose as a decline for Chevron and concerns about the broader economy were overtaken by earnings reports that showed the world’s largest technology companies are thriving.
The S&P 500 rose 0.8% after a rally erased losses in the last hour of trading. The benchmark ended the month up 5.5%, its best performance since April. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 0.4%, or 115 points, after being down most of the day. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 1.5%.
Gold futures settled sharply higher, shaking off its first losing day in 10 sessions on Thursday as investors, wary of growing economic troubles around the globe, seeking exposure to the perceived safe-haven asset.
August gold climbed by $19.10, or 1%, to $1,985.90 an ounce, after dropping $11.10 to settle at $1,942.30 an ounce on Thursday. Gold settled at a record on Wednesday, marking its ninth-straight advance, which was its longest win streak since a 10-session climb ended in January.
Oil futures ended higher, logging a monthly gain, as investors weighed an uncertain demand outlook and an expected rise in supplies as major producers relax output curbs.
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery rose 35 cents, or 0.9%, to close at $40.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while October Brent crude, the global benchmark, added 27 cents, or 0.6%, to finish at $43.52 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. WTI logged a monthly rise of around 2.6%, while Brent rose more than 5% for July.
Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.1905 to lows near US$1.1765 and was near US$1.1775 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US72.25 cents to lows near US71.35 cents and was near US71.40 cents at the US close. The Japanese yen fell from 104.25 yen per US dollar to near JPY106.65 and was near JPY105.90 at the US close.
European sharemarkets fell on Friday on worries that a lift in global COVID cases could crimp global economic recovery. The euro-zone economy shrank 12.1% in the June quarter. The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.9% to be down 1% in July – the first fall in four months. The German Dax index fell by 0.5%. The UK FTSE index fell by 1.5%. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto lost 1.3% and BHP shares fell by 1.1%.
Earlier in the day in Asia, the Nikkei Stock Average extended early losses to close 2.8% lower at 21710.00 amid a stronger yen and concerns over global economic growth.
China’s major stock-market benchmarks closed higher after swinging briefly to negative territory. The Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.7% to 3310.01, bringing its monthly gain in July to more than 10%. The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index rose 1.3% while the startup-heavy ChiNext Price Index climbed 1.9%.