OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks managed gains amid a volatile session, but fell for the week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked lower to 0.66%. The WSJ Dollar Index continued its run higher, reaching 89.51. Oil prices slipped. Gold prices fell, posting their worst week in about six months.
Australia’s benchmark index S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.5%, as banking stocks surged on news the federal government is relaxing so-called responsible lending restrictions that lenders say were slowing the flow of credit.
U.S. stocks finished higher in another volatile session, but the S&P 500 logged its fourth consecutive week of declines.
The toll of the coronavirus pandemic, the prospects of an uneven U.S. economic recovery and uncertainty from a presidential race has injected turbulence in markets. The major stock indexes swung between small losses and gains Friday morning before beginning their ascent.
The S&P 500 added about 1.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.3%. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 2.2%.
Gold futures ended with a loss, with bullion booking its fourth decline in five sessions, prompting the asset to suffer its worst weekly slide in about six months.
December gold fell $10.60, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,866.30 an ounce, sending the metal to its lowest finish in two months. It saw a 4.9% weekly drop-the steepest for a most-active contract since the period ended March 13, according to FactSet data.
U.S. benchmark oil prices ended the session little changed in a choppy, range-bound session that was driven largely by moves in U.S. stock markets and the dollar.
WTI crude ended a slim 0.1% lower at $40.25 a barrel, notching a 2.1% weekly decline as modestly bearish sentiment returned after last week’s rally.
Major currencies were lower against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.1683 to lows near US$1.1612 and was near US$1.1630 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US70.85 cents to lows near US70.06 cents and was near US70.27 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from 105.23 yen per US dollar to JPY105.69 and was near JPY105.60 at the US close.
European share markets mostly fell on Friday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.1% to be down 3.6% over the week – its worst since mid-June. European banks (-1.2%) sank to all-time lows due to the FinCEN dirty money scandal. Auto stocks slid 1.4% as British car production slumped by an annual 45% in August. The German Dax index lost 1.1%. But the UK FTSE index lifted 0.3% with shares of British betting firm William Hill up 43.5% after receiving takeover offers. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto (-1.7%) and BHP (-0.6%) fell.
Chinese stocks ended mixed, as momentum remained muted after fluctuations in recent days. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1%. The Shenzhen Composite Index weakened 0.2%. However, the ChiNext Price Index added 0.2% to 2540.43, led by gains in biotech firms.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average closed 0.5% higher at 23204.62, helped by chemicals and utilities stocks. Chemical stocks were among the prominent gainers.