OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open lower.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.4% lower at 6020.5, giving up early gains amid stalling gold prices. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index had been as much as 1.2% higher following a positive lead from the U.S. but slipped as the heavyweight materials sector pulled back.
U.S. stocks slipped after some large American companies reported weaker-than-expected earnings, raising new concerns about the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell around 205 points, or 0.8%, to 26379 at the 4p.m. close of trading in New York. The S&P 500 lost 0.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite index declined 1.3%.
Gold futures climbed to mark another record settlement, while silver prices touched their highest level since April 2013 before ending the session lower.
August gold rose $13.60, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,944.60 an ounce, topping the previous record most-active contract settlement of $1,931 from Monday. On an intraday basis, prices touched $1,974.70, topping Monday’s intraday record.
U.S. benchmark oil prices logged their lowest finish in more than a week, as the U.S. dollar steadied and traders continue to fret over the outlook for energy demand, ahead of weekly U.S. petroleum supply data.
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery fell 56 cents, or nearly 1.4%, to settle at $41.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after posting a gain of almost 0.8% Monday. The front-month contract ended at its lowest since July 20.
Major currencies were generally firmer against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro generally held between US$1.1700 and US$1.1740 and was near US$1.1720 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US71.15 cents to highs near US71.65 cents and was near US71.55 cents at the US close. The Japanese yen lifted from levels near 105.65 yen per US dollar to JPY104.95 and was near JPY105.05 at the US close.
European share markets generally rose on Tuesday. Earnings results were mixed. Luxury stocks fell with bellwether stock, LVMH, down 4.1%. But defensive sectors rose with healthcare up 0.9%, utilities up 1.2% and food & beverage up 1.4%. The pan-European STOXX 600 and UK FTSE indexes both rose by 0.4%. But the German Dax index was broadly flat. In London trade shares in Rio Tinto fell by 1.5% while shares in BHP fell by 1.6%.
Earlier in the day in Asia, Japanese stocks ended lower, with the Nikkei Stock Average down 0.3% at 22657.38, dragged by real estate stocks.
Mainland China’s stock market benchmarks rose for a second straight day, mainly supported by food-and-beverage companies. The Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.7% higher at 3227.96, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index and the ChiNext Price Index rose 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively.