OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open higher. The SPI200 futures contract expected to open up 12 points.
Business activity in the U.S. is offering signs of a pickup in late 2019, contrasting with more sluggish economic performances in some of the world’s other largest economies.
Airbnb Chief Operating Officer Belinda Johnson has decided to step down as the company prepares to go public.
Each Market in Focus
Australian shares staged a rebound, but still logged the sharpest weekly decline in almost two months. Broad gains helped the S&P/ASX 200 to finish 0.6% higher at 6709.8, after two straight days of weakness.
That left the index down 1.2% over the week, only the second weekly loss in the last seven. Resources and industrial stocks logged the strongest gains, helped by some signals that the U.S. and China are edging toward a trade deal.
But Westpac extended its declines, falling 1.6% and down 7.0% for the week, due to claims by the financial-intelligence agency. The bank’s board has pledged to update the market in the coming days on steps being taken to resolve the issues raised.
U.S. stocks rose after Chinese President Xi Jinping called for Beijing and Washington to strengthen communications, but still lost ground for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 109.33 points, or 0.4%, to 27875.62. The S&P 500 gained 6.75 points, or 0.2%, to 3110.29. The Nasdaq Composite added 13.67 points, or 0.2%, to 8519.88.
Despite the gains, all three indexes broke multi-week win streaks. For the week, the Dow lost 0.5%, the S&P 500 lost 0.3%, and the Nasdaq dropped 0.3%.
The uneven trading reflects the uneven developments of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, which remains the market’s central preoccupation. Friday it was President XI’s comments that required parsing.
Gold futures were unchanged, ending the week with a loss, after data showing November gains in the U.S. manufacturing and services indexes and a rise in consumer sentiment buoyed benchmark stock indexes, dulling gold’s haven appeal.
December gold settled unchanged on Friday, at $1,463.60 an ounce on Comex, after trading as high as $1,473.40 during the session
January West Texas Intermediate oil lost 81 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $57.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The front-month contract fell 0.1% for the week, according to FactSet data.
The dollar was modestly higher following the release of disappointing PMI data across much of Europe. The euro was recently down 0.1% against the dollar while the British pound was down around 0.5%.
The eurozone economy was on the edge of stagnation in the three months through September, and the survey of purchasing managers indicated that a rebound is unlikely in the final quarter.
European markets had a mixed reaction to German and French industrial survey data. Stocks rose, with the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index advancing 0.5%, but bond yields fell as some investors remained concerned about growth prospects for the region.
Asian markets posted a mixed performance in, where Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended the week 0.5% higher at 26595.08 and the Shanghai Composite gauge finished 0.6% lower.
Group leading gains with a 1.9% rise following China’s vow to restore its pork supply by end 2020. Chinese internet companies also gained as sentiment toward the sector gets a boost from tech giant Alibaba’s imminent IPO. Main rival Tencent gained 1.3% while Meituan Dianping jumped 6.7% after swinging to profit in 3Q.
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