OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks eked out gains after strong U.S. retail data. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked higher to 0.75%. The WSJ Dollar Index nudged lower to 88.6. Oil prices slipped as a rise in Covid cases fueled demand concerns. Gold prices declined under the weight of a strong dollar.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.5%, paring its weekly gains as nearly every sector turned lower. Property trusts, energy, materials and healthcare led the declines.
U.S. stocks closed slightly higher as retail sales data beat expectations, giving the indexes modest gains after a volatile week.
Investors have been grappling with questions about the strength of the economic recovery, the spread of the coronavirus and the status of negotiations in Washington over additional fiscal stimulus.
The S&P 500 was up less than 0.1% for the session, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up for much of the day, but ended 0.4% lower.
Gold prices ended Friday’s session with a loss, logging their first weekly decline in three weeks, amid an appreciating dollar.
December gold rose $2.50, or 0.1%, to settle at $1906.40 an ounce.
Oil prices slipped as the global economic outlook worsened with the resurgence of Covid-19 cases. The WTI front-month contract lost 0.2%, to close the session at $40.88 a barrel.
“An increase in [coronavirus] cases in Europe…is only further exacerbating the grim outlook in growth and recovery in fuel demand,” RJO’s Alexander Turro said.
Earlier Friday, China’s major stock benchmarks posted mixed results. The Shanghai Composite Index eked out a 0.1% gain, while the Shenzhen Composite Index and the ChiNext Price Index slipped 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively.
Japanese stocks declined 0.4% amid worries about a prolonged pandemic with electronics and pharmaceutical stocks among the losers.