OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open lower.
U.S. stocks closed higher as jobless claims edged lower. The 10-year Treasury note yield fell 0.6 basis point to 0.535%, after touching a low of 0.504% earlier. The WSJ Dollar Index was recently down 0.08% to 88.20. Crude-oil prices settled lower on concerns over weak demand. Gold prices logged a fifth record in a row.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index staged a mid-session rally to close 0.7% higher at 6042.2. Commodity-related stocks led the recovery from a slump that wiped out almost all its morning gains.
U.S. stocks rose as the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits came in below expectations, but still held at historically high levels.
The S&P 500 rose 0.6% to 3349.2 as of the 4 p.m close of trading in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.7%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq increased 1.0%.
Gold futures extended a record rally to a fifth-straight day, with a muted U.S. dollar and lackluster moves in equities supporting bullion’s ascent to near $2,100. Doubts about the complexion of the coming jobs report on Friday also underpinned bids for bullion.
December gold rose $20.10, or 1%, to $2,069.40 an ounce, registering its fifth-straight record close after a 1.4% gain for bullion.
Benchmark oil prices ended the session 0.6% lower at $41.95/bbl, as Wednesday’s rally to a five-month-high was halted amid concerns that demand will remain below normal for months or even years due to corona-virus and a shift toward renewable.
Major currencies were mostly firmer against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.1909 to lows near US$1.1820 and was near US$1.1875 at the US close. But the Aussie dollar rose from lows near US71.74 cents to highs near US72.39 cents and was near US72.37 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen rose from 105.69 yen per US dollar to JPY105.29 and was near JPY105.53 at the US close.
European share-markets fell on Thursday with the pan-European STOXX 600 index down by 0.7%. Mining shares fell 2.5% with Glen-core shares down 8.1% after the miner scrapped its dividend. Shares of energy producers BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total fell 2%-3.8% as oil prices fell. The German Dax index fell by 0.5%. And the UK FTSE index lost 1.3% after the Bank of England kept its policy settings unchanged. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto fell by 4.8% and shares in BHP closer lower by 0.3%.
Earlier in the day in Asia, the Nikkei Stock Average reversed early mornings gains to end 0.4% lower at 22418.15, weighed by railway and logistics-related stocks.
Mainland Chinese stocks ended the session mixed as the market continued to swing back and forth after strong gains in early July. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% to 3386.46, climbing for the fifth-straight session despite muted momentum for its peers. The Shenzhen Composite Index fell 0.6% to 2304.52 while the startup-heavy ChiNext Price Index lost 1.6% to 2814.37.