Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks ended mostly lower on weak jobs data. The 10-year Treasury note yield was at 1.16%, remaining near the lowest levels in almost six months, compared with 1.17% Tuesday. The WSJ Dollar Index rose 0.19% to 87.00. U.S. oil prices extended their losing streak to a third day as U.S. crude inventories rose. Gold prices eked out a gain after weak U.S. private-sector payrolls data.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.4% higher to a record, boosted by mining heavyweights. The benchmark bounced from the previous session’s 0.2% decline to narrowly eclipse Monday’s record high. The energy sector added 0.9%.
U.S. stocks fell after data showed the private sector added fewer jobs than economists expected in July, fueling concerns the rebound from the pandemic may be faltering.
The S&P 500 ticked down 0.5%, a day after the broad-market index rallied to a record close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.9%. The Nasdaq Composite Index wavered between gains and losses, closing up 0.1%. A report from ADP showed that 330,000 jobs were added by the private sector in July, almost half the number that economists were expecting. Bottlenecks in hiring continue to hold back the labour market, according to ADP.
Gold futures finished up after U.S. data showed a weaker-than-expected increase in the number of private-sector payrolls in July but a record pace of service sector expansion, with input costs rising sharply last month.
December gold closed up less than 0.1% at $1,814.50 an ounce but saw an intraday high at $1,835.90 on Comex.
Oil futures fell sharply, extending a losing streak to three days after official data showed an unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories.
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery fell 3.4% to close at $68.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its first finish below $70 since July 20.
October Brent crude, the global benchmark, lost 2.8% to settle at $70.38 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.1898 to lows near US$1.1832 and was near US$1.1835 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US74.25 cents to lows near US73.70 cents and was near US73.80 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from near 108.72 yen per US dollar to JPY109.63 and was near JPY109.45 at the US close.
European sharemarkets advanced on Wednesday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lifted by 0.6% to record highs with technology shares up by 1.9%. The German Dax index lifted by 0.9%, despite a disappointing earnings result from Commerzbank (-5.8%). The UK FTSE index gained 0.3% with London-listed shares in Rio Tinto and BHP both up by 0.2%.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average fell amid ongoing concerns over the resurgence of Covid-19 infections and virus-related restrictions in Japan, and over China’s regulatory crackdown. The Nikkei Stock Average closed 0.2% lower.
Chinese stocks finished higher, supported by gains in new-energy sectors. Banks and consumer shares fell amid the country’s Covid-19 Delta outbreak, amid worries that prolonged restrictions will stall economic growth. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8%, the Shenzhen Composite Index added 1.7% and the ChiNext Price Index gained 2.5%.