In US economic data, according to Challenger there were 32,517 job cuts in June – the highest since February 2021 (survey: 20,000). The trade deficit improved from US$86.7 billion to US$85.5bn in May (survey: US$84.9bn). New claims for unemployment insurance rose by 4,000 to 235,000 in the past week (survey: 230,000).

European sharemarkets were firmer on Thursday. Higher oil and metal prices boosted commodity-linked stocks. Miners lifted 5.4% and the energy sector rose by 4.1%. Minutes of the last European Central Bank meeting showed that policymakers debated flagging a bigger rate hike in July. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 1.9%. The German Dax index rose by 2.0%. The UK FTSE index rose by 1.1% with investors digesting news of the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto rose by 3.7% and shares in BHP rose by 3.9%.

US sharemarkets were firmer on Thursday. Traders bet that aggressive rate hikes from the Federal Reserve would be successful in stemming inflationary pressures. GameStop Corp rose 15.1% as the videogame retailer’s board approved a four-for-one stock split. Chipmakers rose after strong earnings figures from Samsung. Investors await the pivotal job report on Friday. The Dow Jones index rose by 347 points or 1.1%. The S&P 500 index rose by 1.5% and the Nasdaq index was up by 259 points or 2.3%.

US treasuries fell on Thursday (yields higher). St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Thursday said he sees a “good chance” the central bank will engineer a soft landing for the economy. US 10- year yields rose by around 9 points to near 3.00% and US 2-year yields rose by around 7 points to near 3.03%.

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.0220 to US$1.0145 and was near US$1.0160 at the US close. But the Aussie dollar rose from near US68.05 cents to near US68.47 cents and was near US68.40 cents at the US close. And the Japanese held between 135.57 yen per US dollar and JPY136.19 and was around JPY136 at the US close.

Global oil prices rose by near 4% on Thursday on fears about near-term crude oil supplies. Traders braced for disruption to oil supplies from the Caspian Pipeline Consortium that handles 1% of
global oil supplies. The Brent crude price rose by US$3.96 or 3.9% to US$104.65 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude price rose by US$4.20 or 4.3% to US$102.73 a barrel.

Base metal prices were mixed on Thursday. Lead and nickel fell by as much as 1.4%. Other metals rose 1.7-5.3% with tin up the most.

The gold futures price rose by US$3.20 or 0.2% to US$1,739.70 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,740 an ounce at the US close. The iron ore futures price rose by US$1.85 or 1.6% to US$114.18 a tonne. Ahead: In Australia, business turnover data is released. In the US, the non-farm payrolls (employment) data is issued with consumer credit.

Originally published by CommSec