In US economic data, the trade deficit narrowed from US$107.7bn to US$87.1bn in April (survey: -US$89.5bn). Consumer credit grew by US$38.07 in April (survey: US$35bn). Johnson Redbook chain store sales rose by 12.4% in the past week compared with a year ago (prior week: +12.6%).

European sharemarkets fell on Tuesday on fears that aggressive rate hikes by central banks could flatten major economies. Data showed German industrial orders fell for the third time in a row in April. The technology sector fell by 1.1%. And the retail sector was down by 0.9% after US retailer Target again trimmed margin forecasts. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.3%. The German Dax index fell by 0.7% and the UK FTSE index eased by 0.1%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto rose by 2.3% and BHP shares were up 1.9%.

US sharemarkets rose on Tuesday with technology leading the way. Shares in Apple rose 1.8%. But shares in retailer Target lost 2.3% after said that it will have to offer deeper discounts to boost sales, thus trimming margins. Retail shares fell 1%. Shares in department store Kohl’s rose 9.5% after it entered talks with retail store operator Franchise Group over a potential sale. The Dow Jones index closed up by 264 points or 0.8%. And the S&P 500 index rose by 1.0% with the Nasdaq index adding 114 points or 0.9%.

US longer-term treasuries rose on Tuesday (yields lower). The US Treasury sold US$44 billion of 3-year notes at a yield of 2.927%. US 10-year yields fell by around 6 points to near 2.98%. But US 2-year yields were flat near 2.73%.

Major currencies were firmer against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.0655 to highs near US$1.0710 and was near session highs at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US71.60 cents to highs near US72.40 cents and was near highs at the US close. And the Japanese yen rose from 133 yen per US dollar to JPY132.35 and was near JPY132.65 at the US close.


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Global oil prices rose by just under 1% on Tuesday. The US and Iran have made no progress on a nuclear deal that – if brokered could allow Iran to pump more oil onto global markets. There were also short-term supply concerns in Norway and Libya. The Brent crude price rose by US$1.06 or 0.9% to US$120.57 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude price rose by US91 cents or 0.8% to US$119.41 a barrel – the highest settlement price since March 8 and close to 14-year highs.

Base metal prices fell by between 0.2% and 1.9% on Tuesday with zinc down the most. But lead rose by 0.6%.

The gold futures price rose by US$8.40 or 0.5% to US$1,852.10 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,855 an ounce at the US close. The iron ore futures price rose by US57 cents or 0.4% to US$145.81 a tonne.

Ahead: In Australia, the labour account is published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In the US, weekly mortgage applications data are scheduled with wholesale trade sales and inventories figures.

Originally published by CommSec