OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks slipped as bank earnings reports rolled in. The 10-year Treasury note yield declined 0.005 percentage point to 0.73%. The WSJ Dollar Index recently was down 0.17% to 88.29. Crude oil prices ended higher, encouraged by an OPEC+ commitment to output cuts. Gold futures settled back above $1,900 an ounce.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index ended the session down 0.3% to close at 6179.2, ending their joint-best winning streak of 2020. The benchmark index bounced around the gain-line throughout the session, but losses by the heavyweight financial and materials sectors meant it failed to notch an eighth-straight day of gains.
U.S. stocks fell again Wednesday, giving up earlier gains, as investors parsed earnings reports and the latest developments on lawmakers haggling on coronavirus aid.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 165 points, or 0.5%, as of the 4 p.m. close of trading in New York, while the S&P 500 declined 0.6%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 0.8%.
Gold futures finished higher on Wednesday to recoup much of their loss from a day earlier when bullion sank below a psychologically significant level at $1,900 an ounce.
December gold for December delivery on Comex rose $12.70, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,907.30 an ounce, a day after tumbling 1.8%.
Oil futures stretched their gains to a second session Wednesday, as Saudi Arabia and Russia reportedly held a discussion by phone, reiterating the OPEC+ commitment to abide by the production-cut agreement.
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery climbed by 84 cents, or 2.1%, to settle at $41.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, following a rise of almost 2% Tuesday. December Brent crude, the global benchmark, added 87 cents, or nearly 2.1%, at $43.32 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$1.1719 to highs near US$1.1768 and was near US$1.1750 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US71.90 cents to lows near US71.53 cents and was near US71.60 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen strengthened from 105.50 yen per US dollar to JPY105.04 and was near JPY105.10 at the US close.
European sharemarkets were mixed on Wednesday. The panEuropean STOXX 600 index fell just 0.1% with food and beverage (-0.5%), healthcare (-0.6%) and retail (-0.4%) stocks leading declines. The German Dax index rose by 0.1%. But the UK FTSE index fell by 0.6% as signs of progress in Brexit talks boosted the British pound sterling, pressuring exporters. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto fell by 0.1% and BHP shares were flat.
Japanese stocks ended higher, led by gains in technology and consumer-goods. The Nikkei Stock Average ended up 0.1% at 23626.73.
China’s major stock benchmarks closed slightly lower, ending a three-session winning streak since trading resumed Friday after a long holiday. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.6% to 3340.78, while the Shenzhen Composite Index was off 0.6% and the ChiNext Price Index lost 0.7%. Consumer-service firms led the declines after broadly rising earlier this week on solid domestic consumption data during the long holiday.