OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open lower.
U.S. stocks fell amid a decline in technology shares. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note ticked down to 0.63%, from 0.650% Wednesday.
The WSJ DollarIndex was recently up 0.18% to 87.94. Crude oil prices ended lower, but off session lows. Gold futures settled at a one-week low.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.8% to 6112.6, consolidating their strong gains of the previous session. The benchmark index opened higher following a strong lead from the U.S. and held onto its early gains throughout the session.
U.S. stocks fell sharply, driven by a broad decline in many of the technology firms that have led the market higher in recent months.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.8% to 28292, suggesting that investors may be taking a breather following a rally that sent the Dow industrials above 29000 for the first time since February a day earlier. The S&P 500 lost 3.5% to 3455, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 5% to 11458.
Gold futures settled at their lowest level in a week, as some traders looked to the precious metal to cover losses in other assets on the heels of a drop in U.S. benchmark stock indexes.
Oil futures edged declined, but finished off the session’s worst levels.
Prices saw steeper declines early in the day as the U.S. stock market sold off sharply, but the “energy space has stabilized” partially thanks to the fact that the day’s equity market volatility was “not a function of a materially negative headline regarding the global economy, the coronavirus, or stimulus but rather overextended valuations,” said Tyler Richey, co-editor at Sevens Report Research.
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery fell 14 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $41.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after falling to as low as $40.22.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.1789 to highs near US$1.1863 and was near US$1.1855 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US73.17 cents to lows near US72.64 cents and was near US72.75 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen strengthened from near 106.53 yen per US dollar to JPY105.99 and was near JPY106.20 at the US close.
European sharemarkets fell on Thursday with the pan-European STOXX 600 index down by 1.4%. Tech stocks lost 3.8% – the most in 4 months. Economic data also disappointed with Eurozone retail sales down by 1.3% in July (survey: +0.4%) France’s CAC 40 index fell 0.4% despite the Macron government unveiling a €100 billion stimulus plan. The German Dax index slid 1.4%. The UK FTSE index lost 1.5%. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto fell by 3.3% and shares in BHP plunged 5.8%.
Earlier in the day in Asia, the Nikkei Stock Average ended higher, led by gains in electronics and auto stocks, thanks to continuing hopes for a recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Nikkei Stock Average advanced 0.9% to 23465.53, the highest close since Feb. 20. Investors are focusing on any policy changes a new administration could bring about after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigns.
Mainland China’s major stock benchmarks ended the session lower, as the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell for the third straight day. The index lost 0.6%, its steepest one-day decline in more than a week, to settle at 3384.98. The Shenzhen Composite Index fell 0.8% to 2301.81, while the ChiNext Price Index, an indicator for emerging industries and startups, shed 0.9% to 2746.95.