OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks rose after data showed a jump in existing home sales. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury ticked lower to 0.638%, from 0.644% Thursday. The WSJ Dollar Index rose 0.33% to 88.58. Oil prices fell on fears the pandemic’s effects on demand will linger. Gold prices gained on the day, but posted a second consecutive weekly loss.
Australia’s stock benchmark S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1% to 6111.2, weighed by health, financial and materials sectors. The benchmark dipped 0.3% for the week.
U.S. stocks closed higher, with the S&P 500 notching a fourth straight week of gains. The broad stock-market gauge rose 0.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.7%, pushed higher by gains in Apple shares. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.4%.
U.S. stocks drifted higher for the week during a quiet stretch of trading, as investors have tried to reconcile uneven economic signals with expectations of further stimulus from governments and central banks.
Gold futures eked out a tiny gain to halt a third consecutive slide, but the precious metal’s advance for the day wasn’t sufficient to avoid the first back-to-back weekly declines since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March.
December gold picked up 50 cents, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,947 an ounce, marking a weekly decline of 0.1% amid a recent strengthening of the dollar. The decline marks gold’s second straight weekly loss since a similar stretch ended March 20, according to Fact-Set data.
U.S. benchmark oil prices settled 1.1% lower at $42.34 a barrel amid persistent fears that corona-virus will linger for months to come, leaving many schools and universities shut, and keeping jet fuel demand much weaker than normal.
Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.1880 to lows near US$1.1755 and was near US$1.1795 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US72.05 cents to lows near US71.35 cents and was near US71.60 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from near 105.45 yen per US dollar to JPY106.05 and was near JPY105.80 at the US close.
European share-markets closed lower on Friday in response to downbeat economic data. The IHS Markit composite purchasing managers index for Germany fell from 55.3 to 53.7 in July. But the travel & leisure index posted the biggest sectoral gain, up by 3.1%. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.2%. The German Dax index fell by 0.5%. And the UK FTSE index was lower by 0.2%. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto rose by 0.5% but shares in BHP were down by 0.4%.
Chinese stocks rebounded, recovering from two consecutive days of declines. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5% to settle at 3380.68, while the Shenzhen Composite Index rose 1.1% to 2249.95. The ChiNext Price Index climbed the most, ending 1.7% higher at 2632.45.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was lifted 0.2% higher to 22920.30, helped by real estate and precision instrument stocks.