In US economic data, the economy, as measured by GDP, contracted at a 0.9% annualised rate in the June quarter (survey: +0.5%). Initial jobless claims for unemployment benefits fell from 261,000 to 256,000 in the past week (survey: 253,000). The Kansas City Federal Reserve manufacturing activity rose from +12 to +13 in July (survey: +4).

European sharemarkets advanced on Thursday, supported by upbeat earnings. The weaker-than-expected US GDP reading eased concerns about the pace of future rate hikes. Shares in puffer jacket maker Moncler rose by 8% in response to earnings and further boosted shares of luxury goods stocks. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 1.1%. The German Dax index gained 0.9% and the UK FTSE index was flat. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto rose by 1.1% and BHP shares rose by 1.6%.

US sharemarkets climbed on Thursday after data showing a second straight quarterly contraction of the economy raised hopes of less aggressive interest rate hikes ahead. Shares in Meta Platforms (owner of Facebook and Instagram) fell by 5.2% after reporting its first drop in quarterly revenue. The Dow Jones index rose by 332 points or 1.0%. The S&P 500 index added 1.2% and the Nasdaq index lifted by 130 points or 1.1%.

US treasuries rose on Thursday (yields lower). The US Treasury sold US$38 billion of 7-year notes at a high yield of 2.73%, down from 3.28% in the previous auction. US 10-year yields fell by around 6 points to near 2.67%. And US 2-year yields fell by around 10 points to near 2.88%.

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro held between lows near US$1.0112 and highs near US$1.0234 and was near US$1.0185 at the US close. The Aussie dollar held between lows near US69.53 cents and highs near US70.13 cents and was near US69.80 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen held between near 134.18 yen per US dollar and JPY136.58 and was stronger near JPY134.25 at the US close.

Global oil prices were mixed on Thursday. Worries about global recession were balanced against data showing lower US crude stocks and firmer gasoline consumption. The Brent crude price rose by US52 cents or 0.5% to US$107.14 a barrel. But the US Nymex crude price fell by US84 cents or 0.9% to US$96.42 a barrel.

Base metal prices were mixed on Thursday. Lead fell 0.9% and tin lost 0.3% but other metals rose by up to 3.7% with zinc up the most.

The gold futures price rose by US$31.20 an ounce or 1.8% to US$1,750.30 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,755 an ounce at the US close. The iron ore futures price rose by US$1.08 or 1.0% to US$107.55 a tonne.

Ahead: In Australia, producer prices and private sector credit data are both scheduled. In the US, personal income and spending figures are released with the employment cost index and the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure – the core PCE deflator. The Chicago purchasing managers’ index (PMI) is also due with the final reading on consumer confidence.

Originally published by CommSec