Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open lower.
U.S. stocks closed higher but declined for the week. The 10-year Treasury note yield rose 1.2 basis points to 1.566%, trimming its weekly decline to 0.5 basis point. The WSJ Dollar Index was down 0.37% to 85.83. Oil prices rose but posted a weekly loss on global Covid-19 worries. Gold prices fell and were lower for the week as a surge in new home sales boosts Treasury yields.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.1% higher, failing to extend its run of four weekly gains. The benchmark spent most of the day in the red following a pullback by U.S. stocks. The ASX closed the week essentially flat, down by just 2.8 points.
Investors piled back into equity markets, lifting all three major U.S. stock indexes, as fresh data underscored that a strong economic recovery is underway.
The S&P 500 jumped 1.1%, just shy of its record close from last week. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 1.4%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.7%. All three indexes still ended the week with losses, breaking their weeklong winning streaks. Still, strong data released Friday offered investors some optimism, helping propel gains for the day.
Gold futures fell on the day to finish slightly lower for the week, as data showing a surge in new U.S. home sales prompted a rise in Treasury yields, dulling the precious metal’s investment appeal.
Gold for June delivery lost $4.20, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,777.80 an ounce on Comex.
Oil futures finished higher but posted a weekly decline as worries about a surge in Covid-19 cases in India and Japan, in particular, contribute to concern over the demand outlook.
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery rose 71 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $62.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. June Brent crude, the global benchmark, also rose 71 cents, or 1.1%, to $66.09 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
Major currencies were mostly firmer against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.2021 to session highs near US$1.2099 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US77.24 cents to highs near US77.60 cents and was near US77.46 cents at the US close. But the Japanese yen eased from near 107.47 yen per US dollar to JPY108.11 and was near JPY107.91 at the US close.
European sharemarkets were mostly lower on Friday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index slid 0.1% to be down 0.8% on the week. IHS Markit’s eurozone composite purchasing managers’ index rose from 53.2 to a 9-month high of 53.7 in April (survey: 52.9). The German Dax index lost 0.3% and the UK FTSE index was flat. In London trade shares in Rio Tinto (+1.9%) and BHP (+1.2%) both lifted.
Japanese stocks end lower, dragged by declines in electronics stocks, amid concerns about additional Covid-19 countermeasures and potentially higher U.S. capital gains tax.
The Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.6%. Chinese stocks ended the session higher, as steelmakers extended their gains from Thursday when China unexpectedly cut production in a key supply region and sent steel prices soaring.
The renewable-energy sector also tracked up following the climate change summit overnight. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3% while the Shenzhen Composite Index closed 0.5% higher. The ChiNext Price Index, which measures the performance of emerging industries and startups, gained 1.9%.