In US economic data, job cuts rose from 20,485 in August to 29,989 in September according to Challenger (survey: 22,000). Initial claims for unemployment insurance (jobless claims) rose by 29,000 to 219,000 in the past week (survey: 203,000).
European sharemarkets eased on Thursday. Minutes from the September 7-8 meeting of the European Central Bank show that policymakers were worried that inflation could become entrenched at high levels, requiring more aggressive rate hikes. Also weighing on investor sentiment on Thursday was data showing the Euro zone retail sales fell 0.3% in August. But shares in Credit Suisse rose 2.6% after JPMorgan upgraded the Swiss bank’s stock to “neutral” from “underweight”. The continent-wide FTSEurofirst 300 index fell by 0.6%. The UK FTSE 100 index lost 0.8%.
US sharemarkets were weaker on Thursday. While markets were comforted by softer economic data, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said the US central bank is “quite a ways away” from being able to pause its aggressive interest-rate hikes. Investors were cautious ahead of Friday’s release of monthly employment data. The Dow Jones index ended lower by 347 points or 1.2%. The S&P 500 index fell by 1.0%. And the Nasdaq index lost 75 points or 0.7%.
US longer-term treasuries fell on Thursday (yields higher). Yields initially had fallen in response to weak data on jobless claims and job layoffs. But Federal Reserve officials continued to warn about further rate hikes ahead. US 10 year yields rose by around 6 points to near 3.82%. And US 2-year yields rose by 9 points to near 4.24%.
Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$0.9925 to lows near US$0.9790 and was near lows at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US65.35 cents to lows near US63.90 cents and was near US64.10 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased
from near 144.50 yen per US dollar to JPY145.10 and was near the weakest levels at the US close.
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Global oil prices rose by near 1% on Thursday in continued response to the decision of OPEC+ to cut production quotas by 2 million barrels per day (bpd). But Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said the real supply cut would be about 1 million to 1.1 million bpd. Saudi Arabia’s share of the cut is about 0.5 million bpd. The Brent crude oil price rose by US$1.05 or 1.1% to US$94.42 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude oil price lifted by US69 cents or 0.8% to US$88.45 a barrel.
Base metal prices were mixed on the London Metal Exchange on Thursday. Copper, tin and aluminium fell by as much as 1% while other metals rose by up to 2% with zinc up the most. Zinc rose in response to news that the LME imposed restrictions on metal from a Russian company. A stronger greenback also weighed on the market, making commodities priced in US dollars more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
The gold futures price was unchanged at US$1,720.80 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,713 an ounce at the US close. Iron ore futures rose by US20 cents or 0.2% to US$95.46 a tonne.
Originally published by CommSec