In US economic data, the business optimism index eased from 92.1 to 91.3 in October (survey: 92). The economic optimism index fell from 41.6 to 40.4 in November (survey: 41.5). Chain store sales in the past week were up 7.6% on a year ago, down from the 9.7% annual gain recorded in the prior week.

European sharemarkets were firmer on Tuesday. Boosting sentiment were earnings results from Danish jewellery maker Pandora (+10.6%) after the company highlighted resilient shopper demand even amid soaring living costs. Earnings results have been generally positive. Out of the 216 STOXX 600 companies, nearly 60% of them have reported better-than-expected earnings, compared to a typical quarter where 53% beat analyst estimates, according to Refinitiv data. The continent-wide FTSEurofirst 300 index rose by 0.7% to 8-week highs. The UK FTSE 100 index edged higher by 0.1%.

US sharemarkets were higher on Tuesday as traders awaited midterm election results. All 435 House of Representatives seats and 35 Senate seats are on the ballot. Traders expect the House of Representatives to be won by Republicans with the Senate too close to call. So-called political gridlock is seen as positive for the sharemarket as it could crimp White House plans for more government spending. At the close of trade, the Dow Jones index was up 334 points or 1.0%. The S&P 500 index rose by 0.6% and the Nasdaq index rose by 0.5%.

US treasuries were firmer on Tuesday (yields lower). US Treasury auctioned US$40 billion in three-year notes on Tuesday at an average yield of 4.605%. Treasury will sell US$35 billion in 10-year notes on Wednesday and US$21 billion in 30-year bonds on Thursday. Federal funds futures have priced in a 67% chance of a 50 basis-point rate
hike in December, and a 33% probability of a 75-bps increase. US 10- year yields fell around 7 points to near 4.14%. And US 2-year yields fell by around 6 points to near 4.67%.

Major currencies were firmer against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$0.9975 to highs near US$1.0095 and was near US$1.0070 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US64.40 cents to highs near US65.50 cents and was near US65.00 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen lifted from near 146.90 yen per US dollar to JPY145.30 and was near JPY145.60 at US close.


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Global oil prices eased by around 3% on Tuesday. Investors are awaiting US midterm election results and US inflation data, the latter to be released on Thursday. But weighing on oil prices were reports on new Covid-19 cases in Guangzhou and other Chinese cities. The Brent crude oil price fell by US$2.56 or 2.6% to US$95.36 a barrel. The US Nymex crude oil price fell by US$2.88 or 3.1% to US$88.91 a barrel.

Base metal prices were firmer on Tuesday by as much as 3.8% with tin doing the best while copper and nickel were both up 2.6%.

The gold futures price rose by US$35.50 an ounce or 2.1% to US$1,716 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,711 an ounce at the US close. Iron ore futures fell by US$1.81 a tonne or 2.1% to US$85.33 a tonne.

Originally published by CommSec