Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at fresh records. The 10-year Treasury note yield slid 1.5 basis points to 0.913% and briefly fell below 0.90%. The WSJ Dollar Index recently was 0.07% higher at 85.99. Crude oil prices ended mixed as the spread of Covid-19 dulled demand prospects. Gold prices tallied back-to-back gains to mark the highest finish in three weeks.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index eked out a 0.2% gain, ending a volatile session flat for 2020 to date.
U.S. stocks rose, pushing the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to fresh records, amid a pair of positive steps toward combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average also traded higher, gaining 104 points, but remained just short of a new milestone.
Gold futures settled higher for a second straight session, as lower bond yields and the prospect of a fresh coronavirus relief package in the U.S. combined to lift prices for bullion to their highest settlement in three weeks.
February gold edged up by $8.90, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,874.90 an ounce, after a 1.4% gain on Monday. The settlement was the highest for a most-active contract since Nov. 17, according to FactSet data.
Oil futures settled on a mixed note, with U.S. benchmark prices lower but global Brent prices up for the session, as traders weighed demand prospects on the back of the rise in Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe against hope for a vaccine.
West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery fell by 16 cents, or nearly 0.4%, to settle at $45.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. February Brent crude, the global benchmark, tacked on a nickel, or 0.1%, to end at $48.84 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.2095 to highs near US$1.2132 and was near US$1.2105 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US74.34 cents to lows near US73.99 cents and was near US74.10 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from near 103.96 yen per US dollar to JPY104.19 and was near JPY104.15 at the US close.
European sharemarkets rose on Tuesday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index climbed 0.2% and Germany’s Dax index lifted 0.1%. The UK FTSE index also gained 0.1%. The UK rolled out the
first COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech to the public. But investors remained focused on last-ditch attempts at a Brexit trade deal after negotiations failed on Monday. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto (-0.3%) and BHP (-0.4%) both fell.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average ended lower, weighed by falls in electronics and pharmaceutical stocks, as concerns persist about the Covid-19 pandemic and containment measures. The Nikkei declined by 0.3%.
China’s major stock benchmarks closed mixed. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2%, the Shenzhen Composite Index was little changed, while the ChiNext Price Index gained 0.7%.