In US economic data, mortgage applications fell 0.1% in the past week after easing 0.5% in the prior week. Wholesale inventories rose by 0.6 per cent in September (survey: +0.8%)

European sharemarkets were weaker on Wednesday with uncertainty about the outcome of the US midterm elections weighing on investor sentiment. Investors also awaited US inflation data, to be released on Thursday. Energy stocks fell 1.8% in response to a lower oil price. Travel & leisure, miners and banks fell by between 1.1% and
2.1%. Shares in German lender Commerzbank fell 7.2% after reporting a 52% fall in third quarter profits. The continent-wide FTSEurofirst 300 index fell by 0.2%. The UK FTSE 100 index lost 0.1%.

US sharemarkets were weaker on Wednesday in response to uncertainty about the results of the midterm elections. Republicans are still favoured to win control of the House of Representatives. But the Senate race remains in the balance. Investors are now focussing on inflation data to be released on Thursday. Shares in Walt Disney fell 13.2% after the company reported more losses from its steaming video business. Shares in Meta Platforms rose 5.2% as the
Facebook-parent said it would let go of 13% of its workforce, or more than 11,000 employees. Energy lost 4.9%. Weighing on investor sentiment was news that cryptocurrency exchange Binance had walked away from a bailout deal to acquire FTX. At the close of trade, the Dow Jones index was down by 647 points or 2.0%. The S&P 500
index fell by 2.1% and the Nasdaq index lost 263 points or 2.5%.

US treasuries were firmer on Wednesday (yields lower). US Treasury auctioned US$35 billion of 10-year notes a yield of 4.14%. Treasury will sell US$21 billion in 30-year bonds on Thursday. US 10-year yields fell by around 5 points to near 4.07%. And US 2-year yields fell by around 8 points to near 4.59%.

Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.0080 to lows near US$0.9992 and was near US$1.0008 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US65.20 cents to lows near US64.15 cents and was near US64.25 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen
eased from near 145.21 yen per US dollar to JPY146.77 and was near JPY146.52 at US close.


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Global oil prices fell again on Wednesday as data showing a bigger-than-expected lift in crude stockpiles. And there was ongoing concern about rising Covid cases in China that could constrain oil demand. The Brent crude oil price fell by US$2.71 or 2.8% to US$92.65 a barrel. The US Nymex crude oil price fell by US$3.08 or 3.5% to US$85.83 a barrel.

Base metal prices were mixed on Wednesday. Zinc, aluminium and copper fell by as much as 2.7% with other metals up by as much as 2.9% (nickel). Highlighting the volatile session, Reuters reported “Traders said the news about Russia announcing a withdrawal from the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson spurred a burst of buying by computer-driven funds.”

The gold futures price fell by US$2.30 an ounce or 0.1% to US$1,713.70 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,704 an ounce at the US close. Iron ore futures rose by US$2.18 a tonne or 2.6% to US$87.51 a tonne.

Originally published by CommSec