OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is to open lower.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index ended the session flat at 5952.1 after sentiment improved slightly in the final half hour of trading. Tech stocks gained.
U.S. stocks pulled back Tuesday after two sessions of solid gains as investors looked ahead to the first debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
The S&P 500 fell 0.5% as of the 4 p.m. close of trading in New York, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 0.5%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 0.3%.
Gold futures finished higher as weakness in the U.S. dollar helped to fuel some buying in bullion despite a rally in stocks that would otherwise suggest waning appetite for assets perceived as havens.
December gold gained $16, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,882.30 an ounce, after booking a 4.9% weekly drop on Friday – the steepest for a most-active contract since the period ended March 13, FactSet data showed.
Oil futures ended sharply lower, sending U.S. and global benchmark crude prices to their lowest finish in two weeks
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery fell $1.31, or 3.2%, to settle at $39.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after gaining 0.9% on Monday.
Investors sold the commodity on worries U.S. crude-oil inventories will start to rise during the weak-demand fall season.
Major currencies were mostly firmer against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.1665 to highs near US$1.1745 and was near US$1.1740 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US70.75 cents to highs near US71.35 cents and was near US71.30 cents at the US close. The Japanese yen held between 105.54 yen per US dollar and JPY105.71 and was near JPY105.63 at the US close.
European share markets eased on Tuesday with banks, energy and insurance stocks falling the most. Investors booked profits ahead of the first US presidential debate. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell by 2.2% with banks falling by a similar percentage after lifting 5.6% in the prior session. The German Dax index lost 0.4%. The UK FTSE index fell by 0.5%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto rose by 0.7% while BHP fell by 1.5%.
Earlier in the day in Asia, the Nikkei Stock Average edged up 0.1% to end at 23539.10, led by electronics stocks.
Investors are focusing on the U.S. presidential debate later in the day and any implications for Japanese policies.
Mainland China’s major stock benchmarks ended the session higher. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2% to close at 3224.36 after falling for three consecutive sessions. The small Shenzhen Composite Index rose 1.1% and the ChiNext Price Index gained 1.7%.