In US economic data, retail sales was up 0.3% in August after a 0.4% fall in July (survey: flat). Industrial production fell 0.2% in August (survey: +0.1%). Export prices fell 1.6% in August (survey: -1.2%). Import prices fell by 1.0% in August (survey: -1.2%). The Philadelphia Federal Reserve manufacturing index fell from +6.2 points to -9.9pts in September (survey: +2.8pts). But the Empire State index rose from -31.3 points to -1.5pts in September (survey: -13).

European sharemarkets were mixed on Thursday after trading higher earlier in the session. Technology stocks fell by 1.8% and the energy sector fell by 2.1% but banks rose by 1.7%. Shares in retailer H&M lost 4.7% after it posted lower-than-expected quarterly sales. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.7%. The German Dax index fell by 0.6% but the UK FTSE index rose by 0.1%. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto fell by 0.6% while BHP rose by 0.2%.

US sharemarkets were weaker again on Thursday. Technology stocks led the declines on expectations that the Federal Reserve will remain aggressive in lifting rates. Railroad operators rose after a rail strike was averted. At the close of trade, the Dow Jones index was lower by 173 points or 0.6% after trading in a 396-point range. The S&P 500 index fell by 1.1% and the Nasdaq index fell by 167 points or 1.4%.

US treasuries were weaker on Thursday (yields higher) after generally positive economic data suggested that the Federal Reserve will continue to lift rates to re-balance supply and demand in the economy. US 10-year yields rose by 4 points to near 3.45%. And US 2-year yields rose by 8 points to 15-year highs near 3.86%.

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from near US$0.9955 to highs near US$1.0015 and was near US$0.9990 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US67.60 cents to lows near US66.95 cents and was near US67 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen held between 143.15 yen per US dollar and JPY143.78 and was near JPY143.45 at the US close.


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Global oil prices fell by around 3.5% on Thursday after a rail strike was averted. Reuters reports: “Major US railroads and unions secured a tentative deal after 20 hours of intense talks brokered by President Joe Biden’s administration to avert a rail shutdown that could have hit food and fuel supplies across the country and beyond.” Oil prices also fell on expectations that higher interest rates would crimp oil demand. The Brent crude oil price fell by US$3.26 or 3.5% to US$90.84 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude oil price fell by US$3.38 or 3.8% to US$85.10 a barrel.

Base metals were lower on Thursday with prices falling as much as 4.5% (nickel). But aluminium bucked the trend, up 1.9%.

The gold futures price fell by US$31.80 an ounce or 1.9% to US$1,677.30 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,665 an ounce at the US close. Iron ore futures rose by US7 cents or 0.1% to US$100.58 a tonne.

Ahead: In Australia, the Reserve Bank Governor testifies on the economy. In China, August retail sales, production and investment data are due. In the US, consumer sentiment data is released with capital flows data.

Originally published by CommSec