OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open lower. The SPI200 futures contract expected to open down 12 points.
Shares of tech companies were some of the hardest hit Friday, while financial stocks outperformed the broader market, continuing a trend from this month.
U.S. government bond prices retraced early declines following a batch of mixed economic data and reports that highlighted continued U.S.-China trade tensions.
Each Market in Focus
Australian shares ended higher, trimming the main index’s first weekly loss in more than a month amid broad-based gains. The S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.6% at 6716.1, narrowing losses this week to 0.2%.
Mining stocks were up, aided by a bounce in iron-ore prices. BHP and Rio Tinto rose 0.9% and 0.5% respectively. Banks were also in positive territory, with Commonwealth Bank up 0.4% and ANZ 1.0% higher.
Stocks edged higher early in the day but hit session lows after a news report that the White House is weighing limiting investment in China. Fresh data also showed that consumer spending slowed recently and businesses pulled back on investment, heightening worries about economic growth at a time when two of the biggest global economies remain embroiled in a trade conflict.
All three indexes declined at least 0.4% for the week. The turn lower came after Bloomberg News reported that Trump administration officials are considering ways to limit U.S. investors’ portfolio flows into China. For some, the stock market reaction highlighted how sensitive investors are to developments on trade between the two countries.
Fresh data showed U.S. consumer spending slowed more than expected in August, a sign that a key part of the economy could be losing steam.
Gold prices ended the week with a loss on the back of overall strength in the U.S. dollar, but held ground above the key $1,500-an-ounce mark as U.S. stocks traded lower following a report that the U.S. is looking to limit U.S. portfolio investments into China.
Gold for December delivery on Comex declined $8.80, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,506.40 an ounce, the lowest finish for a most-active contract since Sept. 19, according to FactSet data. It lost 0.6% for the week. December silver fell 26 cents, or 1.5%, at $17.652 an ounce, for a weekly loss of 1.1%.
Oil futures finished lower, as news reports tied to Iran sanctions, a cease-fire between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and the U.S. considering limits on investor portfolio flows into China pressured prices, contributing to a loss of nearly 4% for the week.
Oil prices had been trading lower as The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Saudi Arabia had moved to impose a partial cease-fire in war-torn Yemen, as Riyadh and Houthi militants try to bring an end to a four-year war that is become a flashpoint in a regional confrontation with Iran.
European stocks settled higher as markets rode a wave of cautious optimism about trade, despite profit warnings from several blue-chips. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 finished up 0.5%, while the FTSE 100 gained 1% the DAX advanced 0.8% and the CAC 40 climbed 0.4%.
Stocks closed broadly lower in Asia, with Tokyo’s Nikkei down 0.8%. Shares in Shanghai were an outlier, edging up 0.1%.
Chinese industrial profits slipped 2% in August from the year before, after rising 2.6% in July, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. Producer-price deflation deepened last month, ratcheting up the pressure on manufacturers that were already struggling with the prolonged trade war between China and the U.S., official data showed earlier.
Hong Kong stocks settled lower with the Hang Seng Index falling 0.3% to 25954.81. Oil explorer CNOOC was the biggest loser, shedding 2.0% due to weak global oil prices. Chinese coal-power producers were also lower as China rolled out a policy to limit power tariffs next year. China Resources Power dropped 4.4%, Huaneng Power International slid 3.3% and China Shenhua Energy declined 1.3%. On the brighter side, car maker Geely
Automobile rose 3.6% on expectations of an imminent recovery in China’s automobile market.
Indian shares closed lower but still logged their first three-consecutive-week gain since the end of May. The BSE Sensex ended 0.4% lower at 38822.57, trimming this week’s gains to 2.1%. Metal and mining stocks weighed, with Vedanta falling 5.4% and Tata Steel 4.4% lower.
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