Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
Stocks closed higher despite declines in energy shares. The 10-year Treasury note yield fell 2.5 basis points to 1.609%, after hitting its highest levels in a year on Friday.
The WSJ Dollar Index was up 0.08% to 86.54. Oil prices declined and are on track to extend last week’s loss. Gold prices rose to their highest finish in almost two weeks.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.1% higher, eking out a narrow gain despite the drag of iron-ore miners and beaten-down tech stocks. The health, financial and energy sectors pulled the benchmark to a positive finish after it opened modestly lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.5%, adding to its advance after finishing last week at a record. The S&P 500 added 0.7%, erasing earlier declines, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.1%. Falling oil prices put pressure on the energy sector.
Later this week, investors will parse the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement for guidance on policy makers’ views on the economic outlook.
Gold futures climbed, with a decline in Treasury note yields helping prices settle at their highest in almost two weeks, as investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting this week for cues on the precious metal’s next move.
April gold on Comex rose $9.40, or nearly 0.6%, to settle at $1,729.20 an ounce on Comex. That was the highest most-active contract finish since March 2, FactSet data shows.
Oil futures ended modestly lower as traders gauged the latest signs on energy demand.
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery fell 22 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $65.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after posting a weekly loss of 0.7% on Friday.
May Brent crude, the global benchmark, declined by 34 cents, or 0.5%, at $68.96 a barrel after tapping a session high of $70.03.
Major currencies ended mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro held between near US$1.1910 and US$1.1965 and ended near US$1.1925 at the US close. The Aussie dollar held between US77.05 cents and US77.75 cents and ended US trade near US77.55 cents. And the Japanese yen held between 108.90 yen per US dollar and JPY109.36 yen and was near JPY109.11 at the US close.
European sharemarkets mostly eased on Monday. Travel & leisure, automakers and food & beverage sectors rose. But basic resources, energy and financials eased. Swiss drugmaker, Roche, gained 2.1% after it said it would buy GenMark Diagnostics, a US-based maker of molecular diagnostic tests, in a US$1.8 billion deal. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat but the German Dax index lost 0.3% and the UK FTSE index fell by 0.2%. In London trade shares in Rio Tinto fell by 2.6% while shares in BHP lost 2.1%.
The Nikkei Stock Average closed 0.2% higher, led by gains in airline, bank and auto stocks, amid signs of easing of the Covid-19 pandemic.
China’s major stock benchmarks ended lower after several sectors favoured by mutual funds fell sharply.
The Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.0% lower, while the Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 2.1% and the ChiNext Price Index, a barometer of retail-investor sentiment, slumped 4.1%. Chipmakers and brewers of baijiu, or Chinese liquor, led the declines.