OPENING CALL: The Australian share market is expected to open lower. The SPI200 futures contract expected to open down 64 points.
Electric-car maker Tesla says it has hit its early production target of 1,000 vehicles a week at its China plant-less than a year after breaking ground at a 210-acre field in Shanghai.
YouTube will soon limit the data it collects on videos designed for children to comply with a federal privacy clampdown, pleasing consumer advocates but delivering a potential financial blow to creators of free kids’ content.
Each Market in Focus
Australian shares lifted off their lows but still began the week weaker, held back by weakness in industrial and property stocks.
The S&P/ASX 200 settled 0.3% lower at 6804.9, but with just one session to go, 2019 is still on track for the biggest advance in a decade with a gain of 21% so far.
Among industrial stocks, Sydney Airport fell 4.3% and Transurban dropped 2.6% as they traded ex-dividend, while in the property space, Vicinity Centres also went ex-dividend and declined 3.1%. Big miners also struggled, with BHP 0.6% lower and Rio Tinto 0.9% down, though most of the heavily weighted big banks edged higher.
U.S. stocks are poised for their best annual performance in six years, driven by the big technology companies that have led the decadelong bull market run.
An improving economic outlook, progress between the U.S. and China on trade negotiations and three interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve have boosted investors’ confidence that the expansion can continue.
With one full trading day left in 2019, the benchmark S&P 500 has surged 29%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has risen 35%. Both indexes are set for their biggest gains since 2013 when they climbed 30% and 38%, respectively.
On an intraday basis, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.4%, the S&P 500 fell 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.5%.
Gold for February delivery on Comex eked out it fifth-straight gain, adding 50 cents, or less than 0.01%, to settle near a three-month high of $1,518.60 an ounce.
The metal was bolstered by investors looking to offset any last-minute upset as a news report indicated U.S. and Chinese officials could meet this weekend to sign a partial trade pact.
Crude prices swung between small gains and losses, with traders looking for a fresh catalyst that could push prices out of their current range.
U.S. crude edged down 0.1% to end the day at $61.68 a barrel, while Brent, the global gauge of prices, advanced 0.4% to $68.44 a barrel amid light end-of-year trading.
into the end of the year optimistic that U.S.-China trade tensions will remain in the background.
In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 lost 0.9% while the FTSE 100 closed lower amid typically thin trading activity in the time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
London’s blue-chip index ended the session down 0.8% at 7587.05. Defense company BAE Systems was the biggest faller, while private health-care group NMC Health topped the FTSE 100 risers.
The German DAX was down 88.10 points, or 0.66%, to 13249.01 while the French CAC was down 55.17 points, or 0.91%, to 5982.22.
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