Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open lower.
U.S. stocks were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked lower to 1.54% as inflation fears continue to wain. The WSJ Dollar Index rose to 85.23, helping push gold prices lower. U.S. oil prices climbed back above $70 a barrel for the first time in more than two years.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1%, narrowly missing out on a fresh record after recovering from a mid-session wobble. Tech stocks led gains as the benchmark steadied from its week-opening 0.2% fall, a slip that ended a run of three consecutive record closes.
U.S. stocks wavered, moving between small gains and losses, as investors weighed supply-chain problems and signs of rising inflation against an improved economic outlook.
The S&P 500 index was about flat, ticking up 0.02%, as of the 4 p.m. close of trading in New York, after rising earlier in the day to its second-highest intraday level on record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell slightly, losing about 0.1%.
The Nasdaq Composite added about 0.3%, marking a third consecutive day of gains for the index of technology and growth stocks. Companies including Amazon.com and PayPal were among those that pushed the index higher.
Gold futures pulled back after touching highs above the key $1,900 an ounce level, prompting prices to suffer their first loss in three sessions.
Some firmness in the U.S. dollar created friction for bullion, and attempts by investors to propel the asset solidly above a $1,900-an-ounce threshold, seen as a level of resistance for prices, failed.
Thursday’s U.S. inflation report may provide the clearest impetus for commodity traders in the form of the May consumer-price index. A hotter-than-expected read on the April CPI, which rose 4.2% year over year, temporarily rattled markets last month.
August gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,894.40 an ounce, after trading as high as $1,906.90.
Oil futures climbed back to their highest levels in more than two years, with U.S. prices settling above $70 a barrel.
Prices got a boost from expectations of further improvement in U.S. energy demand. The Energy Information Administration also raised its 2021 oil-price forecasts and traders looked ahead to an EIA report due Wednesday that’s expected to show a third-weekly decline in domestic crude inventories.
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery rose 1.2% to settle at $70.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices based on the front-month contracts marked the highest finish since October 2018, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
August Brent crude, the global benchmark, added 1% to settle at $72.22 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, the highest since May 2019.
Major currencies were choppy against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.2165 to highs near US$1.2190 and was near US$1.2170 at the US close. The Aussie dollar lifted from lows near US77.30 cents to highs near US77.55 cents and was near US77.40 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen held between 109.26 yen per US dollar and JPY109.55 and was near JPY109.50 at the US close.
European share markets were mixed again on Tuesday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lifted by 0.1% to a new closing high. Travel & leisure (up 1.8%), real estate (up 1.1%) and telecoms (up 0.3%) led the gains. Automakers fell by 1.1%. The German Dax index lost 0.2% after industrial production unexpectedly fell in April. Meanwhile the UK FTSE index was higher by 0.3%. In London trade shares in Rio Tinto rose by 0.8% while shares in BHP rose by 1.4%.
Earlier Tuesday, Chinese stocks closed lower after erasing morning gains, dragged by baijiu makers and miners even as automakers strengthened. The Shanghai Composite Index was 0.5% lower, the Shenzhen Composite Index slipped 0.9% and the ChiNext Price Index lost 0.6%.
Hong Kong stocks extended their losing streak to five consecutive sessions. The benchmark Hang Seng Index edged 0.02% lower. Consumption stocks were the biggest losers, as the sector retreated from strong gains on Monday.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average ended 0.2% lower, weighed by falls in semiconductor-related stocks despite gains for pharmaceutical shares. The broader market index Topix rose 0.1%. Covid-19 infection trends remained in focus.