In US economic data, initial claims for unemployment insurance (jobless claims) rose by 27,000 to 229,000 in the past week (survey: 210,000).

European sharemarkets fell on Thursday. The European Central Bank (ECB) said it would end its bond buying scheme on July 1 and lift interest rates by 25 basis points. The ECB said it could lift rates by a bigger margin in September. The ECB said inflation would average 6.8% this year, above the 5.1% predicted while economic growth for the year was cut to 2.8% from a previous forecast of 3.7%. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 1.4% with losses broad-based. The German Dax index fell by 1.7% and the UK FTSE index lost 1.5%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto and BHP both fell by 2.7%.

US sharemarkets fell on Thursday with investors nervous ahead of the release of consumer price data on Friday. The core (underlying) rate is tipped to have risen by 0.5% in May which would see the annual inflation rate ease for another month and potentially indicate that inflation has peaked. The Dow Jones index closed lower by 638 points or 1.2% with selling accelerating in the final hour of trade. The S&P 500 index lost 2.4% with the Nasdaq index down
by 332 points or 2.8%.

US treasuries fell on Thursday (yields higher). The US Treasury sold US$19 billion of 30-year notes into solid demand at a yield of 3.185%. US 10-year yields rose by around 2 points to near 3.05%. And US 2-year yields rose by 4 points to near 2.82%.

Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.0770 to lows near US$1.0610 and was near session lows at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US71.90 cents to lows near US70.95 cents and was near session lows at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from 133.20 yen per US dollar to JPY134.41 and was near session lows at the US close.

Global oil prices fell by around 0.5% on Thursday. Reuters reports that “parts of Shanghai began imposing new lockdown restrictions on Thursday, with residents of Minhang district ordered to stay home for two days to control transmission risks.” There was some encouragement earlier in the session on the Chinese economy with exports in May up 16.9% on the year – the fastest pace since January and double analyst forecasts. The Brent crude price fell by US51 cents or 0.4% to US$123.07 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude price fell by US60 cents or 0.5% to US$121.51 a barrel.

Base metal prices fell by between 1.2-2.9% on Thursday with nickel down the most and copper and tin down the least.

The gold futures price fell by US$3.70 or 0.2% to US$1,852.80 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,847 an ounce at the US close. The iron ore futures price fell by US$2.06 or 1.4% to US$143.82 a tonne.

Ahead: In Australia, the April business turnover indicator is issued. In the US, the consumer price index is released with consumer confidence and the May budget statement.

Originally published by CommSec