Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
Stocks were mixed despite gains in tech. The 10-year Treasury note yield higher to 1.155%, from 1.133% Wednesday. The WSJ Dollar Index was 0.04% lower at 85.23. U.S. oil prices fell as the rally ended. Gold prices suffered their first loss in five sessions.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.1% lower as strength among mining stocks was offset by weakness elsewhere. Tech, energy and consumer stocks all lost ground. Elsewhere, seven of the 10 largest miners by market capitalization gained, helping the materials sector rise 0.6%.
U.S. stocks were mixed, giving up earlier gains and suggesting investors are at an impasse following last month’s stretch of wild trading.
The S&P 500 slipped from session highs, as losses accumulated across shares of communications, industrial, energy and financial companies. The market’s lone bright spot, tech stocks, gave up around half of their gains, hobbling, for the moment, at attempt at a gain for major indexes. The S&P 500 was up 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.02%. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.4%.
Gold futures suffered their first loss in five sessions, a day after posting the highest price settlement since the start of the month.
Gold for April delivery lost $15.90, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,826.80 an ounce. On Wednesday, prices settled at $1,842.70, their highest since Feb. 1, FactSet data show.
Prices for gold had been trading higher before a weekly report from the U.S. Labor Department showed that U.S. initial jobless benefit claims in states fell to 793,000 from revised 812,000 in early February.
Oil futures settled lower, as traders fretted over a lower demand forecast for this year, putting an end to the longest streak of session price gains in more than two years.
West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery, the U.S. benchmark, fell 44 cents, or nearly 0.8%, to settle at $57.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
WTI had gained ground in each of the last eight sessions. April Brent crude, the global benchmark, lost 33 cents, or 0.5%, at $60.82 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe after a nine-day winning streak.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.2117 to highs near US$1.2148 and was near US$1.2130 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US77.35 cents to highs near US77.70 cents and was near US77.50 cents at the US close. But the Japanese yen eased from 104.54 yen per US dollar to JPY104.79 yen and was near JPY104.70 at the US close.
European sharemarkets rose on Thursday. Technology-led the gains, up by 2.2%. But banks fell 0.5%. After releasing earnings results, shares in Commerzbank fell 6% while Credit Agricole rose by almost 5%. Shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield fell 13% after the shopping centres owner said it planned to cut US exposure to close to zero. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 0.5%. The German Dax index lifted 0.8%. The UK FTSE index rose by just 0.1%. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto fell by 0.2% and shares in BHP fell by 0.1%.
The Japanese market was shut for new-year celebrations.
Markets in China were shut for new-year celebrations.