13 July 2020
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Good morning, Australia

Craig James
25 May 2020

How’dy USA

US share markets closed mixed on Friday. US-China tensions dominated. The US Commerce Department said it was adding 33 Chinese companies and other institutions to an economic blacklist for human rights violations and to address U.S. national security concerns. Real estate rose 2.2% and energy lost 0.7%. At the close of trade, the Dow Jones index fell by 9 points or less than 0.1%. But the S&P500 index was up by 0.2%. And the Nasdaq index rose 40 points or 0.4%. Over the week the Dow added 3.3%, the S&P 500 rose 3.2% and the Nasdaq lifted by 3.4%.

US long-term treasury bond prices rose on Friday (yields lower). US 2-year yields were flat near 0.17% and US 10-year yields fell by 2 points to 0.657%. Over the week US 2-year yields both rose by around 2 points.

Bonjour Europe

European share markets were mixed on Friday as investors weighed news that China planned a new security law in Hong Kong. Firms exposed to Asia fell with Prudential down 9.3%, HSBC falling 5% and Standard Chartered losing 2.4%. But overall, media rose 1.3% and banks rose 1.2% while oil stocks fell 0.6%. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was broadly flat. The German Dax index rose by 0.1% while the UK FTSE index fell by 0.4%. In London trade shares in Rio Tinto rose by 1.2% and shares in BHP were up by 0.4%.          

Hello World!

At the National People's Congress, China has abandoned setting a target for GDP growth for the first time in 30 years "due to the great uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment". China is targeting a 3.5% increase in inflation, more than 9 million new urban jobs and a registered urban unemployment rate of around 5.5%.

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.0930 to lows near US$1.0885 and was around US$1.09 at the US close of trade. The Aussie dollar held between US65.05 cents and US65.45 cents and was near US65.35 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from JPY107.32 per US dollar to near JPY107.63 and was near JPY107.60 at the US close.

Global oil prices fell on Friday in end-week profit-taking. The Brent crude price fell by US93 cents or 2.6% to US$35.13 a barrel. And the US Nymex price fell by US67 cents or 2.0% to US$33.25 a barrel. Over the week Brent rose by US$2.63 or 8.1%. Nymex rose by US$3.82 or 13%.

Base metal prices fell by between 0.8-4.1% on Friday with tin down the least and nickel down the most. But zinc went against the trend, up 0.1%. Over the week metals generally rose 2-3%.

The gold futures price rose by US$14.10 or 0.8% to US$1,734.60 an ounce. Spot gold was near US$1,734 an ounce in late US trade. Over the week gold fell by US$18.80 or 1.1%. Iron ore fell by US$1.10 or 1.1% to US$96.85 a tonne. Over the week iron ore rose by $3.60 or 3.9%.

G’day Australia

In Australia no major data is expected on Monday. US financial markets are closed for Memorial Day.

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