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Markets

Global Markets Report - 8 December

ASX set to open lower, while tech stocks drove US benchmarks higher overnight.


Australia

Australian shares are set to open lower, while tech stocks drove US benchmarks higher overnight.

ASX futures were down 0.2% or 15 point as of 8:30am on Friday, suggesting a lower open.

U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday ahead of Friday's jobs report for November, with the equity rally lifting the Dow Jones to less than 2% from its last record finish.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 63 points, or 0.2%, closing near 36,117, according to preliminary FactSet data. That put the equity benchmark on the doorstep of its Jan. 4, 2022 closing record of 36,799.65, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

The S&P 500 index ended 0.8% higher, while the outperformer was the Nasdaq Composite Index's 1.4% gain.

In commodity markets, Brent crude oil rose 0.2% to US$74.43 a barrel while gold was up 0.2% to US$2,028.69.

In local bond markets, the yield on Australian 2 Year government bonds was up at 4.01% while the 10 Year yield was also up at 4.34%. US Treasury notes edged lower, with the 2 Year yield at 4.59% and the 10 Year yield at 4.14%.

The Australian dollar hit 66.04 US cents up from the previous close of 65.45. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which tracks the US dollar against 16 other currencies, was down at 97.83.

Asia

Chinese shares ended lower, dragged by auto-related stocks. Sentiment was weighed by an unexpected decline in Chinese exports for November, implying tepid domestic demand, despite a soft rebound in exports. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.1% to 2966.21, the Shenzhen Composite Index was down 0.3% and the ChiNext Price Index ended 0.25% lower. The auto sector led losses, with Chongqing Changan Automobile down 2.2% and Xuzhou Handler Special Vehicle dropping 10%. Auto-parts stocks also fell, as Ningbo Shenglong Automotive Powertrain System plunged 9.9%. Meanwhile, most banks advanced despite Moody's cutting its outlook on eight Chinese lenders. Agricultural Bank of China rose 0.85% and Bank of China was up 0.8%.

Hong Kong shares closed lower after Moody's lowered its outlook on the city to negative from stable, following its cut on China's outlook earlier this week. The benchmark Hang Seng Index declined 0.7% to 16345.89, while the Hang Seng Tech Index also ended 0.7% lower. Almost all sectors closed in the red, led by chip and pharmaceutical stocks. SMIC lost 1.7%. Wuxi AppTec dropped 1.6% and Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group shed 4.2%. The Hang Seng Index may see a fourth straight annual decline for the first time as 2023 comes to a close, CCB International analysts warned.

The Nikkei Stock Average slipped 1.8% to close at 32858.31, tracking Wall Street's losses overnight. Asian markets seem to have struggled with the latest China trade data pointing to a still-struggling economy, Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, says in an email. The worst performers on the Japanese benchmark index included transportation company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, which dropped 4.95%, semiconductor-related equipment manufacturer Advantest, which fell 4.7%, and air-conditioning company Daikin Industries, which was down 4.1%. USD/JPY was at 146.60, compared with 147.15 as of Wednesday's Tokyo stock-market close. The 10-year JGB yield was up 10.5 bps at 0.750%.

Indian shares closed lower, snapping a seven-session winning streak. The benchmark Sensex fell 0.2% to 69521.69. One97 Communications' shares slid 19% after unit Paytm said it plans to cut back on small loans. IT stocks led losses. Infosys fell 0.5% and Cigniti Technologies was 1.65% lower. Bharti Airtel was the worst performer on the benchmark index, dropping 2.5%. HSBC analysts think India's bull market will likely extend into 1H 2024 given falling U.S. Treasury yields, a strong domestic macro environment and solid earnings. However, in the run-up to the elections next year, the market may be volatile and could even see a short period of market consolidation, they said.

Europe

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index closed 0.3% lower at 468.78 after data showed U.S. weekly jobless claims were barely changed, indicating that layoffs remain low and potentially questioning expectations for U.S. interest-rate cuts next year. Barring a "shock" in Friday's monthly U.S. non-farm payrolls data, stocks will likely stay stuck in a range until next week's U.S. rate decision, writes IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp. European investors are also nervous ahead of European Central Bank and Bank of England rate decisions next week, he says. Germany's DAX index fell 0.2% while France's CAC 40 index lost 0.1%.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 outperformed, ending the day flat, helped by gains for heavyweight mining stocks.

North America

U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday ahead of Friday's jobs report for November, with the equity rally lifting the Dow Jones to less than 2% from its last record finish.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 63 points, or 0.2%, closing near 36,117, according to preliminary FactSet data. That put the equity benchmark on the doorstep of its Jan. 4, 2022 closing record of 36,799.65, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

The S&P 500 index ended 0.8% higher, while the outperformer was the Nasdaq Composite Index's 1.4% gain.

Once again, shares of giant technology companies lead the broader market higher. Alphabet rose 5.3% after unveiling its new AI system that will become widely available early next year, while Advanced Micro Devices was the S&P 500's best performer, up 9.9% after saying Microsoft, Meta Platforms and Oracle adopted or are in the process of adopting its new AI chips.

Stocks were extending a sharp rally from last month that was fueled by a sharp drop in rates used to finance the economy.

The 10-year Treasury yields edged up to 4.129% on Thursday, but was well below its 5% peak in October.

November's jobs report will be watched for signs that the labor market continues to ease, helping the Federal Reserve in its fight to keep inflation receding toward its 2% yearly target.



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