Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks set further records on hopes for a stimulus package from the U.S. Congress. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.97%. The WSJ Dollar Index nudged higher to 85.85. Oil prices rose a day after Opec+ agreed to a gradual build in output. Gold saw limited gains amid U.S. stimulus hopes.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3%, clinching a fifth consecutive weekly gain.
U.S. stock indexes climbed to records as the revival of stimulus negotiations bolstered expectations that the economy can weather the pandemic’s continued spread.
The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000 small-cap index closed at new highs, the first time since January 2018 that all four indexes closed at records on the same day, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
The S&P 500 rose 1.7% for the week, while the Dow industrials added 1%. The Russell 2000’s 2% weekly gain nearly matched the 2.1% rise in the Nasdaq Composite, an example of how economically-sensitive stocks have recently competed with the technology shares that dominated earlier in the year.
Gold futures slipped, with progress on coronavirus vaccine development and distribution helping to dull the metal’s haven appeal, but prices scored a gain for the week on renewed U.S. stimulus talks.
February gold lost nearly 0.1% to settle at $1,840 an ounce.
Oil futures rose, with prices up a fifth week in a row and the global benchmark settling at its highest since early March.
The moves come a day after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies agreed to unwind production cuts more gradually than originally planned.
West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery rose 1.4% to settle at $46.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices based on the front-month contract logged a weekly gain of 1.6%, their fifth consecutive weekly climb, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.2175 to lows near US$1.2110 and was near US$1.2120 at the US close. The Aussie
dollar rose from lows near US74.10 cents to highs near US74.45 cents and was near US74.20 cents at the US close of trade. The Japanese yen eased from near 103.80 yen per US dollar to JPY104.23 and was near JPY104.14 at the US close.
European share markets were firmer on Friday. European Union officials are hopeful of securing a trade deal with the UK. And German industrial orders rose more than expected in October. The
pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 0.6% while the German Dax index rose 0.4%. And the UK FTSE index rose by 0.9% to 9-month highs. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto rose by 1.3%
while BHP rose by 1.7%.
Earlier Friday, mainland China’s major stock benchmarks settled higher despite nervousness over tensions between China and the U.S. Buoying sentiment was China’s continued economic rebound, as well as continued hopes that a Covid-19 vaccine is getting closer.
The Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.1%, while the Shenzhen Composite Index closed 0.5% higher and the ChiNext Price Index gained 0.7%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed 0.4% higher, led by a mixed bag of companies.
The Nikkei Stock Average lost 0.2%, weighed by real estate and aviation stocks.