OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open higher. The SPI Futures contract expected to open up 25 points.
Chinese state shipping behemoth Cosco Shipping Holdings Co. halted trading of shares in its oil transport unit as it tries to contain the fallout from the U.S. blacklisting of its tankers for allegedly moving illicit Iranian oil.
The pace of U.S. economic growth was unrevised in the second quarter, although a key measure of U.S. corporate profits was revised lower.
Each Market in Focus
Australian shares logged a third successive decline, with broad losses across almost all sectors. The S&P/ASX 200 settled 0.5% lower at 6677.6, and is now down 0.8% so far this week and tracking for the first weekly fall in six weeks.
Only the industrials subindex was up, and only marginally at that, while telecom, utilities and health sectors fell the most.
U.S. stocks fell intraday after the release of a whistleblower complaint that has sparked an impeachment push against President Trump clouded the political outlook.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 11 points, or less than 0.1% after recovering some of those losses in afternoon trading. The S&P 500 dropped 0.1%, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.5%.
The House Intelligence Committee released a whistleblower complaint that alleges President Trump sought to use the powers of his office to coerce Ukraine to investigate a political rival. The controversy has become a political danger to Mr. Trump’s presidency and has rallied House Democrats to seek impeachment proceedings.
Gold moved higher “due to tepid, dovish GDP data” covering the second quarter, with the market anticipating the same for the third quarter, said Jeff Wright, executive vice president of GoldMining Inc. The data showed the economy grew at a 2% annual pace from April to June, unchanged from the previous estimate.
The euro could fall as low as 1.0500 if it decisively breaks below the 1.0926-mark, MUFG said earlier in the day. Trading at 1.0959, EUR/USD earlier briefly fell as low as 1.0923, its weakest since mid-2017, according to Tradeweb. MUFG said contrasting economic data and policy updates from both sides of the Atlantic are encouraging both a weaker euro and a stronger U.S. dollar.
The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.6%, the German DAX gained 0.4% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.02%.
Better-than-expected consumer data showed that German shoppers remained somewhat resilient in the face of a sharp slowdown in the industrial sector.
The FTSE 100 closed in the green after U.K.-listed stocks benefited from hopes of warming trade relations between the U.S. and China and from a weakened pound. Aveva Group led the gainers, closing up 4.2% at 3,712 pence, while Pearson fell furthest, closing down 14% at 740 pence, after it issued a profit warning.
Meanwhile, the French CAC-40 Index was up 36.77 points, or 0.66%, to 5620.57.
In Asia, the Nikkei climbed 0.1% after the U.S. and Japan signed a trade-enhancement agreement which will lower agricultural tariffs in Japan, industrial tariffs in the U.S. and set new rules for digital trade.
Other Asian markets were more mixed, with stocks in Shanghai down 0.9%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 0.2% and Korea’s Kospi up 0.1%.
Japanese shares were higher as auto and steel stocks rose after the U.S. and Japan trade deal. Nippon Steel jumped 2.5% and auto maker Subaru advanced 2.2%. The Nikkei Stock Average edged higher to 22048.24. Investors now await further developments in U.S.-China trade talks.
South Korea’s benchmark Kospi closed 0.1% higher at 2074.52, led by tech shares. The index pared much of its early gains, as investors turned cautious on the outlook for U.S.-China trade talks despite President Trump’s optimism about a possible deal, said a Samsung Securities analyst. Stocks were mixed across the board.
Hong Kong stocks closed higher, with the Hang Seng Index gaining 0.4% to 26041.93. Malaysian stocks close higher, thanks to a late-session adjustment. Market breadth was positive, with gainers beating losers 398 to 370. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index rose 0.2% to 1593.00.
Singapore shares closed flat after a choppy session as investors turned cautious with August industrial production data pointing to continued pressure on the local economy. The FTSE Straits Times Index closed 0.1 point lower at 3125.81, bringing losses this week to 1.1%.
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