Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks and oil prices rose as another coronavirus vaccine posted promising data. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked higher to 0.85%.
The WSJ Dollar Index rose to 87.22. The news of yet another strong vaccine candidate sent gold prices lower.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3%, helped by strong gains for iron-ore miners after prices of the steel-making ingredient closed in on a new six-year high.
U.S. stocks climbed after promising results on a Covid-19 vaccine bolstered hopes for an economic rebound in 2021.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.1%, getting the week off to a strong start after the blue-chips index closed last week with losses.
The S&P 500 added 0.6%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite ticked up 0.2%.
Gold futures finished sharply lower, notching the sharpest daily fall since early November, as investors unloaded the metal amid news on prospective vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 that broke down near-term support for bullion.
December gold shed 1.8%. The metal booked its worst daily decline since Nov. 9, according to FactSet data.
Oil futures settled higher, with support tied to continued progress on vaccines against Covid-19 even as the disease continues to rage anew in parts of the world.
West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery rose 1.5%. January Brent crude rose $1.10, or 2.5%.
Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro eased from highs near US$1.1905 to lows near US$1.1801 and was near US$1.1840 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US73.34 cents to lows near US72.66 cents and was near US72.85 cents at the US close. The Japanese yen fell from near 103.68 yen per US dollar to JPY104.62 and was near JPY104.55 at the US close.
European sharemarkets closed lower on Monday with the panEuropean STOXX 600 index down 0.2%. IHS Markit’s Eurozone ‘flash’ composite PMI fell to 45.1 in November from October’s 50 (survey: 46.1), signalling a contraction in business activity. The German Dax index eased by 0.1%. AstraZeneca (-3.8%) said an interim analysis of clinical trials showed its coronavirus vaccine had up to 90% efficacy – lower than peers Pfizer and Moderna – in protecting against the virus. The UK FTSE index fell by 0.3%. In London trade shares in Rio Tinto (+1.9%) and BHP (+2.2%) lifted.
Earlier Monday, China’s major stock benchmarks closed higher. The Shanghai Composite Index added 1.1%, while the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 0.5% and the ChiNext Price Index rose 0.7%. Miners, smelters, banks and other cyclical stocks made strong gains.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index settled 0.1% higher on the back of a rally in tech and oil stocks.
The Nikkei Stock Average ended 0.4% lower, weighed by airline and insurance stocks, as concerns over rising Covid-19 cases in some parts of the world continue to persist.