Opening Call: The Australian share market is to open higher.
U.S. stocks settled lower as Covid continued its spread in the U.S. The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked lower to 0.87%. The WSJ Dollar Index fell to 87.15.
Oil prices eked out gains amid bets that recent vaccine results could eventually boost demand. Gold prices slipped, despite weakness in the dollar.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2%, as gains by energy and financial stocks more than offset declines elsewhere. Energy and finance emulated the strength of their U.S. counterparts, while the tech sector slipped 2.8%.
U.S. stocks fell as the major benchmarks pared back gains a day after they closed at record highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average clawed back from heavy losses to finish 0.6% lower.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite was down about 0.2%.
Gold futures settled lower, easing back after climbing over the last three trading sessions but failing to reclaim the key $1,900-an-ounce mark.
December gold declined 0.1% to settle at $1,885.10 an ounce.
U.S. benchmark oil prices erased earlier declines to rise 0.2% to $41.43 a barrel, on investors’ hopes for a coronavirus vaccine to eventually help boost oil demand.
Still, uncertainty remains as to whether a vaccine could be ready before demand starts to slide amid increasing restrictions and partial lockdowns in the U.S. due to rising cases of the virus.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.1845 to highs near US$1.1891 and was near US$1.1865 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US73.37 cents to lows near US72.89 cents and was near US73.00 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen rose from near 104.56 yen per US dollar to JPY104.06 and was near JPY104.20 at the US close.
European sharemarkets fell on Tuesday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended 0.2% lower. Travel stocks fell 1.1% with shares of EasyJet down by 1.9% after it recorded a £1.27 billion annual loss. Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the virus situation in Germany remains “very serious.” The German Dax index was down less than 0.1%. The UK FTSE index fell 0.9% with UK-listed shares in Rio Tinto (-0.7%) and BHP (-1.5%) both lower.
Earlier Tuesday, Chinese stocks fell, resuming a broad downturn that started last week.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2%, while the Shenzhen Composite Index declined 0.9%. The ChiNext Price Index shed 2.0%.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average gained 0.4%, hitting the highest close since May 1991 thanks in part to growing hopes for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.