Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open lower.
U.S. stocks dropped as the U.S. had another record day of new Covid-19 cases. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked lower to 0.88%. The WSJ Dollar Index climbed to 87.74.
Oil prices fell after inventory data showed an unexpected build in U.S. stockpiles. Gold prices rose, as rising coronovirus cases contributed to risk-off sentiment.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.5%, giving away its early gains to end a five-session winning streak. Strength among telecommunications, tech, retail and healthcare stocks was more than offset by weakness elsewhere, with financials, energy and industrials.
U.S. stocks fell amid a pickup in Covid-19 hospitalizations and renewed talks of lockdowns and restrictions to curb the virus’s spread.
The S&P 500 was down 1% as of the 4 p.m. ET close of trading, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.1%. The Nasdaq Composite was also below the flatline after tech stocks turned negative, dragging the benchmark down 0.7%.
Gold prices climbed as a surge in U.S. coronavirus cases contributed to losses in the U.S. stock market as well as a slide in government bond yields.
December gained 0.6% to settle at $1,873.30 an ounce.
U.S. benchmark oil prices slipped 0.8% to $41.12 a barrel as several U.S. states began to re-impose coronavirus-related restrictions on people and businesses.
An Energy Information Administration report on U.S. oil inventories was also bearish for crude, as it showed inventories unexpectedly rose by 4.3 million barrels last week.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.1760 to highs near US$1.1820 and was near US$1.1805 in late US trade. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US72.80 cents to lows near US72.30 cents and was near lows in late US trade. And the Japanese yen rose from near 105.40 yen per US dollar to JPY105.09 and was near the strongest levels in late US trade.
European sharemarkets eased from 8-month highs on Thursday with investors concerned that surging virus cases across Europe and the US could restrain economic recovery. Banks lost 1.9% and travel stocks fell 0.6%. The UK economy grew at a slower-than-expected 1.1% pace in September. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell by 0.9%. The German Dax index lost 1.2% and the UK FTSE index fell by 0.7%. In London trade shares in Rio Tinto fell just 0.2% and shares in BHP fell by 1.7%.
Earlier Thursday, China’s major stock benchmarks settled with mixed results. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped for the third straight session, closing 0.1% lower. The Shenzhen Composite Index and the ChiNext Price Index gained 0.4% and 0.7%, respectively. Banks were prominent losers.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.7%, helped by tech-related and chemical stocks.