ASX futures up 10 points as technology shares propel NASDAQ higher

By Simon Herrmann. Published at Aug 21, 2020, in Market Wrap

The Nasdaq ended Thursday at a record high, as gains in heavyweight tech stocks outweighed weak data that affirmed the Federal Reserve’s view of a challenging road to economic recovery.

Apple’s market value had surpassed US$2 trillion on Wednesday and the world’s most valuable company extended gains by 2.2% to US$473.1 per share, while most other technology giants including Alphabet or Amazon rose as well.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones also rose.

The ASX dipped yesterday to follow international markets lower, breaking a two day winning-streak. Most Asian markets retreated on Thursday amid subdued sentiment.

As reporting season continued, heavyweight stocks dragged the local bourse down with banking, health care and mining shares closing in the red.

Technology shares performed well as Afterpay jumped nearly 7% to a fresh all-time high after providing an upgraded guidance.

The ASX 200 closed down 47.6 points or 0.77% to 6,120 points on Thursday. Following the lift on Wall Street ASX futures trade 10 points higher at 8a.m. AEST.

24 hours

US markets opened marginally lower but gained momentum quickly and finished comfortably higher. Technology shares provided the strongest boost to the Nasdaq Composite Index, which remains the star performer amongst international equity markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 46.85 points, or 0.17%, to 27,739.73, the S&P 500 gained 10.66 points, or 0.32%, to 3,385.51 and the Nasdaq Composite added 118.49 points, or 1.06%, to 11,264.95.

The Volatility Index, or VIX, reversed course in late afternoon trading (US time) and was last traded at 22.7 points, up 0.8% on the previous day but down compared to its daily high.

In the Asia-Pacific region stock markets in China, Japan and Hong Kong fell in unison. The Shanghai Composite declined 1.3%, the Nikkei dropped 1% and the Hang Seng shed 1.54% as investors temporarily reduced exposure from high-risk assets.

Selling extended into European markets where the STOXX Europe 600 index finished 1.07% in the red. Germany's DAX dipped 1.14% in Frankfurt, while the FTSE 100 declined 1.61% in London.

Gold prices strengthened 0.5% as the precious metal regained some ground after falling sharply the previous day. Gold settled at about US$1,956 per ounce. On Wednesday gold prices tumbled 4% after a tremendous rally to all-time highs.

Crude oil prices ended mostly lower as WTI crude oil traded 0.7% lower, however other crude oil contracts settled little changed.

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