OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open higher. The SPI200 futures contract expected to open up 23 points.
British lawmakers blocked Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for an early election, but a national ballot this year remained in the cards as opposition parties sought an alternative route to end the Brexit stalemate.
China’s president said the country should speed up research into the technology underpinning digital currencies, fueling a surge in related stocks and bitcoin, which briefly topped $10,000.
Each Market in Focus
Australian shares gave back early gains to end only marginally higher as the major banks lost support ahead of the start of earnings season later in the week. Thanks largely to gains by resources and industrial stocks, the S&P/ASX 200 inched up 1.5 points to 6740.7, only just making it a sixth straight advance. The financial subindex lost 0.3%, losing ground alongside consumer staples, technology and property shares. Sims Metal Management sank 8.8% on the back of another profit warning, while Beach Energy rose
2.1% after releasing a quarterly production update.
The S&P 500 set a new intraday high for the first time in three months intraday to kick off a busy week featuring a flurry of corporate earnings, a Federal Reserve meeting and the October jobs report.
Optimism about lower interest rates and hopes for a resolution to the long-simmering trade dispute between the U.S. and China have propelled stocks this year after a brutal selloff to end 2018. The S&P 500 is up 21% in 2019-though most of those gains came in the first quarter.
More recently, stocks have lately been stuck in a narrow trading range as signs of slowing global growth dented corporate investment and spurred anxiety among investors. A better-than-feared corporate earnings season has helped alleviate some of those worries.
The broad stock-market index inched up 0.6% to 3039.42, passing the previous record of 3027.98 from July 26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4%, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1%, putting both indexes within about 1% of their records.
Gold futures declined, with strength in the U.S. stock market fueling the precious metal’s settlement below the psychologically important level of $1,500 an ounce. Traders awaited this week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting, which could determine trading for a number of assets, including bullion.
The S&P 500 index touched an intraday record on Monday for the first time since July 26, as gold futures settled, with investors looking to a busy week of earnings and a U.S. central bank that is expected to ultimately opt for another cut to interest rates.
Gold for December delivery on Comex fell $9.50, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,495.80 an ounce, with prices finishing below $1,500 for the first time since Wednesday. December silver SIZ19, -0.37% edged down 5 cents, or 0.3%, to $17.876 an ounce.
The Fed is widely expected to deliver another quarter-point cut to its benchmark interest rate when policy makers conclude a two-day meeting on Wednesday.
Oil futures lost ground, giving back part of the strong gains last week that sent crude to a nearly one-month high.
West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery CLZ19, -1.43% was off 65 cents, or 1.2%, at $56.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. December Brent crude BRNZ19, +0.06%, the global benchmark, fell 44 cents, or 0.7%, to $61.29 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
WTI on Friday ended at the highest level for a front-month contract since Sept. 24, scoring a 5.2% weekly rise, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Brent crude saw a 4.4% weekly advance to close Friday at its highest since Sept. 26.
The dollar was mixed intraday as traders generally embraced risk, pushing the greenback higher against haven currencies like the Japanese yen and Swiss franc, but lower against many emerging-market currencies. The EU’s latest Brexit extension has also helped lift the euro and the British pound. The WSJ Dollar Index was recently down less than 0.1% at 90.83.
European stocks were in positive territory after the EU agreed to an extension to the deadline for the U.K. to leave the EU and U.S.-China trade relations appeared to improve. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.4%, the FTSE 100 gained 0.3%, the DAX advanced 0.5% and the CAC-40 was up 0.3%.
Asian markets had a stronger start to the week. The Shanghai Composite Index gained almost 0.9%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index held on to early gains to close 0.8% higher at 26891.26, as the U.S. and China moved closer to finalizing parts of an initial trade agreement.
AIA Group led gains with a 3.7% jump, after it reported higher new-business value. Chinese car makers also advanced, as the country’s automobile market showed signs of recovery, analysts said. Geely Automobile added 3.5%, while Great Wall Motor surged 14%
after reporting a jump in 3Q earnings. HSBC Holdings, which posted lower 3Q net profit and revenue, lost 2.3%.
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