In US economic data, durable goods orders were flat in July (survey: +0.6%). Excluding defence equipment, orders rose by 1.2%. Pending home sales fell by 1% in July (survey: -4.0%). Mortgage
applications fell 1.2% in the past week after a 2.3% fall in the previous week.
European sharemarkets generally rose on Wednesday. But high European gas prices and fears about recession kept gains in check. Healthcare led gains, up 0.9%, while miners fell by 1.8%. The panEuropean STOXX 600 index rose by 0.2%. The German Dax index also rose 0.2%. But the UK FTSE index fell by 0.2%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto fell by 2.3% while shares in BHP fell by 0.8%.
US sharemarkets rose on Wednesday. Real estate led gains, up 0.7% with consumer discretionary up 0.6%. Shares in Nordstrom lost 20% after the retailer cut its annual revenue and profit forecasts. The Dow Jones index rose by 60 points or 0.2%. The S&P 500 index rose by 0.3%. And the Nasdaq index rose by 50 points or 0.4%.
US treasuries were weaker on Wednesday (yields up to multi-week highs). Economic data was mixed. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari reiterated the Fed’s focus on controlling
inflation. Investors now await the meeting of central bank officials in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. US Treasury auctioned US$45 billion of fiveyear notes into soft demand at a yield of 3.23%. US 10-year yields rose by around 6 points to near 3.11%. And US 2-year yields rose by 7 points to near 3.40%.
Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from near US$0.9910 to highs near US$0.9996 and was near US$0.9970 at the US close. The Aussie dollar held between US68.75 cents and US69.25 cents and was near US69.10 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from near 136.17 yen per US dollar to JPY137.20 and ended US trade near JPY136.10 at the US close.
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Global oil prices rose by around 1% on Wednesday. Supporting prices were comments to the effect that the Iran nuclear deal was unlikely to be revived – a development that would prevent Iran exporting more oil. Also supporting prices was data which showed that US crude inventories fell by 3.3 million barrels in the past week, well up on forecasts for a 933,000-barrel drop. The Brent crude oil
price rose by US$1.00 or 1.0% to US$101.22 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude oil price rose by US$1.15 or 1.2% to US$94.89 a barrel.
Base metal prices were lower by as much as 1.8% on Wednesday with nickel down the most. But zinc bucked the trend, up by 1.1% .
The gold futures price rose by US30 cents an ounce or less than 0.1% to US$1,761.50 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,752 an ounce at the US close. Iron ore futures rose by US23 cents or 0.2% to US$105.15 a tonne.
Ahead: Detailed labour force data is issued with counts of businesses. In the US, the Jackson Hole symposium begins. Weekly data on claims for unemployment is issued with the Kansas City manufacturing index.
Originally published by CommSec