22 October 2020
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Good morning, Australia

Craig James
29 June 2020

How’dy USA

In US economic data, personal income fell by 4.2% in May (survey: -6%), but spending rose by a record 8.2% (survey: 9.3%). The key inflation measure rose by 0.1% in May (survey: flat). Consumer sentiment rose from 72.3 in May to 78.1 in June (survey: 79.2).

US share markets fell sharply on Friday. Texas and Florida halted drinking at bars and Arizona reported a surge in COVID-19 infections. Bank shares fell 6.1% after the US Federal Reserve capped dividends and banned buybacks until September. A Wall Street Journal report that the 'Phase 1' US-China trade deal could be at risk also dampened sentiment. Facebook shares slid 8.3% due to advertiser defections. The Dow Jones index lost 730 points or 2.8%. The S&P500 index fell 2.4%. The Nasdaq index was down 259 points or 2.6%. For the week, the Dow Jones lost 3.3%, the S&P 500 fell by 2.9% and the Nasdaq was down 1.9%.

US treasury bond prices firmed on Friday (yields lower) on virus concerns. The yields on 3- and 5-year treasury notes hit record lows of 0.17% and 0.29%, respectively. US 2-year yields fell 2 points to 0.168% and US 10-year yields retreated 4 points to 0.638%. Over the week 2-year yields fell 2 points and 10-year yields slid 6 points.

Bonjour Europe

European share markets closed lower on Friday with the panEuropean STOXX 600 index down by 0.4%. European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde said the economic recovery will be "restrained", but the euro zone is "probably past" the worst of the virus crisis. The German Dax index fell by 0.7%, but the UK FTSE index rose by 0.2%. London-listed shares in Rio Tinto rose by 0.1%, but BHP shares fell by 0.1%.

Hello World!

Major currencies were lower against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.1237 to lows near US$1.1196 and was near US$1.1217 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US68.90 cents to lows near US68.39 cents and was near US68.60 cents at the US close. The Japanese yen eased from JPY106.79 per US dollar to JPY107.32 and was near JPY 107.21 at the US close.

Global oil prices were lower on Friday as a surge in virus cases in Texas - the centre of the US oil industry - clouded the demand outlook. The Brent crude price fell by US3 cents or 0.1% to US$41.02 a barrel. The US Nymex price slid US23 cents or 0.6% to US$38.49 a barrel. Over the week Brent fell by 2.8% and the Nymex was 3.2% lower - the second weekly loss in June.

Base metal prices were mostly higher on Friday. Copper (+1.2%) rose after Codelco suspended operations at its Chuquicamata operations in Chile. Aluminium (+2.3%) led gains, but zinc was down by 0.6%. Over the week copper (+2.1%) rose most, but zinc (-2.5%) fell by the most.

The gold futures price rose by US$9.70 or 0.5% to US$1,780.30 an ounce. Over the week, gold was up by US$27.30 an ounce or 1.6%. Spot gold was near US$1,770 an ounce in late US trade. Iron ore fell by US25 cents or 0.2% to US$104.35 a tonne. For the week, iron ore rose by US$1.35 a tonne or 1.3%.

G’day Australia

On Sunday, China industrial profits data is due. On Monday, the ABS releases the "Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey." US pending home sales data and the Dallas Fed factory index are issued.

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