Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open lower.
Stocks closed mixed, with the Dow industrials above 32000 — a record. The 10-year Treasury note yield fell 2.5 basis points to 1.520%. The WSJ Dollar Index was down 0.23% to 86.54. Oil ended higher in a choppy session as traders weighed a crude inventory rise versus product draw. Gold strung together its first consecutive gains in more than two weeks.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.8% lower as falling iron ore and oil prices weighed on commodity-related stocks. The energy sector lost 3.0%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a fresh record after inflation data showed a muted increase in consumer prices for February and a Treasury auction went off without any surprises.
The blue-chip index jumped 1.5% to hit its first close above 32000. The S&P 500 gained 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, shed morning gains and then finished the day less than 0.1% lower.
Gold futures logged a modest advance, as a stable U.S. dollar and retreat in yields for sovereign debt helped provide a runway higher for bullion.
April gold on Comex added $4.90, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,721.80 an ounce, following a 2.3% rise on Tuesday, which marked the biggest one-day dollar and percentage rise for a most-active contract since Jan. 4, FactSet data showed.
Oil futures finished a choppy trading session in positive territory after seesawing between gains and losses following data that showed a large rise in U.S. crude inventories and a large drop in stocks of petroleum products.
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery rose 43 cents, or 0.7%, to close at $64.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude, the global benchmark, gained 38 cents, or 0.6%, to finish at $67.90 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
The Nikkei Stock Average closed flat as gains in electronics stocks helped offset losses in energy and steel shares. China’s major stock benchmarks ended the session mixed, halting the steep losses of the past two days.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged down by 1.55 points after suffering the biggest losses in months on Monday and Tuesday.
The Shenzhen Composite Index gained 0.2%, while the ChiNext Price Index rose 1.6%. Consumer-services providers such as education firms and tourism agencies led the upturn, while the food-and-beverage sector lent further support.