25 September 2020
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Good morning, Australia

Craig James
10 August 2020

How’dy USA

In US economic data, non-farm payrolls (employment) rose by 1.763 million in July (survey: +1.6m). The unemployment rate fell from 11.1% to 10.2% (forecast 10.5%). Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2% (survey -0.5%). Consumer credit rose by US$8.95 billion in June (survey +US$10bn).

US share markets were mixed on Friday with blue-chip shares higher but technology lower. Investors weighed a decision by US President Donald Trump to ban US transactions with the Chinese owners of messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok. The Dow Jones index rose by 46.5 points or 0.2%. The S&P500 index lifted 0.1%. But the Nasdaq index fell 97 points or 0.9% on end-week profit-taking. Over the week the Dow rose by 3.81%; the S&P 500 rose 2.45%; and the Nasdaq rose by 2.47%.

US treasury bond prices fell on Friday (yields higher). Investors watched progress by US Congress on a jobs support package. Investors favoured shares on bonds after a better-than-expected jobs report. US 2-year yields rose 1 point to near 0.127%, and US 10-year yields rose by 3 points to near 0.562%. Over the week US 2-year yields rose 2 points and US 10-year yields rose by 3 points.

Bonjour Europe

European share markets rose on Friday. Encouraging earnings results and economic data offset US-China tensions. The panEuropean STOXX 600 index lifted by 0.3% to be up 2% over the week. Telecom and technology rose near 1% and healthcare rose 0.6%. But banks, miners and oil & gas fell. The German Dax index rose by 0.7%. And the UK FTSE index edged 0.1% higher. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto fell by 1.1% and shares in BHP closed lower by 0.9%.

Hello World!

Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.1850 to lows near US$1.1755 and was near US$1.1785 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US72.20 cents to lows near US71.45 cents and was near US71.50 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen fell from 105.51 yen per US dollar to JPY106.05 and was near JPY105.95 at the US close. Global oil prices were weaker on Friday by near 1.5% on fears that a lift in global COVID-19 cases could weaken the global economic recovery. Lack of progress by US Congress on a new jobs support package weighed on investor sentiment. But the number of oil rigs in operation in the US fell by four to 15-year lows. The Brent crude price fell by US69 cents or 1.5% to US$44.40 a barrel. And the US Nymex price fell by US73 cents or 1.7% to US$41.22 a barrel. Over the week Brent rose 2.5% and Nymex rose by 2.4%.

Base metal prices were lower by up to 2.7% on Friday with copper and lead down the most. But zinc and aluminium fell near 0.3%. Over the week metals were again mixed with nickel up 4.4% and zinc up 3.6% while copper lost 1.8% and tin fell 0.9%.

The gold futures price fell by US$41.40 or 2% to US$2,028 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$2,035 an ounce at the US close. Over the week gold rose US$65.20 an ounce or 3.3%. Iron ore fell by US$2.55 or 2.1% to US$118.85 a tonne. Over the week iron ore rose by US$7.40 or 6.6%.

G’day Australia

On Monday in Australia a household COVID-19 survey is issued with Chinese inflation data and the US JOLTS report.

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