OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open lower.
U.S. stocks edged higher Friday, but finished the week with a loss. The WSJ Dollar Index dropped to 87.86. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 0.84%. Oil prices fell as Libya brought back some production. Gold prices rose on the day, but fell for the week.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.1% lower as strength from energy and financial stocks failed to fully offset weakness among miners and tech firms.
The S&P 500 edged higher, but finished the week with a decline, snapping a three-week winning streak.
The broad stock market index rose 0.3% for the day, ending the week down 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.4%. Both indexes turned in weekly losses of about 1%.
Money managers say stocks are likely to lack clear direction in the coming weeks as investors avoid placing big bets ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
Gold futures finished with a modest gain, but posted a second weekly loss in a row, with traders eying stimulus talks in Congress, moves in the dollar and the upcoming presidential election.
December delivery rose 0.03%, to settle at $1,905.20 an ounce. Gold logged a second-weekly loss, though the most-active contract was down by less than 0.1% from last Friday’s settlement, FactSet data show.
U.S. benchmark oil prices settled 1.9% lower and finished the week off 3.1% due to a sudden resurgence in Libyan oil production, another sizable rise in the U.S. oil rig-count and Washington’s continued inability to deliver on a stimulus package.
No stimulus hurts crude oil badly,” said Bob Yawger at Mizuho.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.1790 to highs near US$1.1865 and was near US$1.1860 at the US close. The Aussie dollar held between lows near US71 cents and highs near US71.55 cents and was near US71.35 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen held between 104.55 yen per US dollar and JPY104.87 and was at JPY104.69 at the US close.
European sharemarkets rose on Friday. Shares in Barclays rose 7% after reporting its quarterly earnings result. Banks rose 2.8%. Shares in Airbus rose 5.6% after it told suppliers to be ready for a lift in output once travel demand recovers. The pan-European STOXX 600 rose by 0.6%, the German Dax index lifted 0.8% and the UK FTSE index rose by 1.3%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto rose by 0.7% and shares in BHP rose by 0.3%.
Earlier Friday, Chinese markets declined for the third straight day. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index shed 1.0%. The Shenzhen Composite Index lost 1.9% while the ChiNext Price Index fell 2.7% to 2600.84. The medical sector continued to give up recent gains.
Japanese stocks rose 0.2% amid hopes for business restructuring at some companies and for U.S. fiscal stimulus.