Asia Morning: U.S. Stocks Hold at Highs

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Jobless claims come below one million since the coronavirus pandemic began...

Trading floor 2

On Thursday, U.S. stocks held up at recent highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 80 points (-0.29%) to 27896, the S&P 500 eased 6 points (-0.20%) to 3373, while the Nasdaq 100 edged up 20 points (+0.19%) to 11178.

S&P 500 Index: Daily Chart


Source: GAIN Capital, TradingView


Media (+0.54%), Consumer Durables & Apparel (+0.5%) and Technology Hardware & Equipment (+0.36%) sectors traded higher, while Energy (-1.99%), Automobiles & Components (-1.32%) and Banks (-1.25%) sectors were under pressure. 

Harley-Davidson (HOG +3.79%), Keysight Technologies (KEYS +3.65%) and Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG +2.93%) were top gainers, while Cisco Systems (CSCO -11.19%), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE -5.23%) and Micron Technology (MU -4.83%) were top losers  

U.S. official data showed that Jobless Claims declined to 963,000 in the week ended August 8, the first time the reading came below one million since the coronavirus pandemic began.


Due later today are reports on Retail Sales (+2% on month in July expected), Industrial Production (+3% on month in July expected), and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (August preliminary reading at 71.9 expected).

European stocks end in the red. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.63%, Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.50%, France's CAC 40 slipped 0.61%, and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 1.50%.

U.S. government bond prices sank further, as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield advanced to 0.716% from 0.669% Wednesday.

Spot gold rebounded for a second day gaining $37.00 (+1.97%) to $1,953 an ounce. Spot silver price jumped 7.86% to $27.51 an ounce.

Oil prices settled lower after the International Energy Agency lowered its 2020 global oil demand forecast to 91.1 million barrels per day, reflecting a fall of 8.1 million barrels per day as compared to 2019. U.S. WTI crude oil futures (September) lost 1.0% to $42.24 a barrel.

On the forex front, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index slipped 0.1% on day to 93.24, down for a second straight session.

EUR/USD advanced 0.3% to 1.1818. Later today, the eurozone's second quarter GDP data will be reported (-15.0% on year expected).

GBP/USD rebounded 0.3% to 1.3070. U.K. chief negotiator David Frost said a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union is possible as soon as next month.

USD/JPY gained 0.1% to 106.97.

USD/CAD fell 0.2% to 1.3221, posting a four-day decline. Canada's manufacturing sales for June will be released later in the day (+16.4% on month expected).

Meanwhile, AUD/USD lost 0.2% to 0.7151. Official data showed that the Australian economy added 114,700 jobs in July (+30,000 jobs expected), while jobless rate rose to 7.5% (7.8% expected) from 7.4% in June.

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