OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open lower.
U.S. stocks started the week with moderate gains, led by technology shares. The yield on the 10-year Treasury nudged higher to 0.68%. The WSJ Dollar Index slipped to 88.12. Oil prices fell amid continued weak demand. Gold prices were pushed higher by a softening dollar.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7% to close at 5899.5 thanks to a late surge. An afternoon sell-off then pushed the benchmark index nearly to break even before a final-hour rebound toward session highs. Commodity stocks led the gains.
A rebound in technology shares lifted U.S. stocks, helping major indexes recover after last week’s pullback.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.9% after last week suffering its biggest one-week decline since the March market crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 327 points, or 1.2%, and the S&P 500 advanced 1.3%.
Gold futures climbed to tally their largest one-day gain of the month so far, as weakness in the dollar and low government bond yields helped to keep the precious metal trading in a range that some market experts see as forming a bullish pattern.
December gold rose $15.80, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,963.70 an ounce, following a 0.7% weekly gain for the yellow metal.
U.S. benchmark oil prices settled modestly lower, falling 0.2% to $37.26 a barrel amid weak global demand due to coronavirus and a looming increase in Libya oil production.
But those bearish signals were countered by some bullish sentiment over Hurricane Sally, which has already cut offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico by 21%.
Major currencies were mostly firmer against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.1840 to highs near US$1.1885 and was near US$1.1865 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US72.65 cents to highs near US73.03 cents and was near US72.95 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen lifted from 106.09 yen per US dollar to JPY105.53 and was near JPY105.68 at the US close.
European sharemarkets closed mixed on Monday. Gains in the technology and travel sectors offset losses in the oil sector. Travel stocks rose 1.9% on news of progress of a vaccine. Shares in Total fell 1.5% with BP down 1.9%% on a negative report about longer-term effects of COVID-19 on oil demand. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 0.2%. But the German Dax and the UK FTSE index both lost 0.1%. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto rose by 0.2% with shares in BHP up by 0.6%.
Earlier Monday, Chinese stocks settled higher as they continued to recover from steep declines over the past week. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6%, after plunging to a multi-month low last week. The Shenzhen Composite Index added 1.2% while the ChiNext Price Index gained 1.4%, extending its recent out performance over the other two indexes.