NASDAQ closes at record high, COVID concerns fail to dampen futures

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Aug 6, 2020, in Market Wrap

The S&P ASX 200 index (XJO) fell 36 points or 0.6% on Wednesday to close at 6001 points as concerns loomed regarding possible inaction with regards to fiscal support measures in the US.

While Congress appears no closer to releasing formal terms regarding stimulus packages, it didn’t affect US markets as the Dow gained 1.4% to close above 27,000 points.

Positive sentiment prevailed across most major markets, and once again upward momentum in metals prices including gold is providing support.

With this backdrop, the ASX SPI200 futures index is up 27 points to 5989 points, suggesting our market may be set to rebound.

24 hours

The Asia-Pacific region was mixed yesterday with the Shanghai Composite making a small gain of six points while the Hang Seng rallied 0.6% or 156 points to close at 25,102 points.

The Nikkei 225 shed 0.2%, closing at 22,514 points.

European markets performed strongly, led higher by the FTSE 100 as it gained more than 1.1% or 68 points to close at 6104 points.

In France, the CAC 40 gained 44 points or nearly 1% to close at 4933 points.

While the DAX started strongly as it touched 12,750 points, it trailed off throughout the afternoon to close up nearly 0.5% at 12,660 points.

In the US, it was mainly positive surprises from company quarterly reports that drove the Dow higher as it gained 373 points to close at 27,201 points.

The S&P 500 finished up 0.6% at 3327 points.

The NASDAQ gained 0.5% to notch up another record closing high, finishing just shy of 11,000 points after a late session surge.

A mid-session rally in the oil price which saw the Brent Crude Oil Continuous Contract increase approximately 4% to more than US$46 per barrel unraveled in the afternoon, but it still finished up 0.4% at US$45.36 per barrel.

Gold continues to make new records, hitting US$2067 per ounce before easing back to US$2050 per ounce.

Iron ore was up marginally to US$118 per tonne, a robust price and no doubt one that contributed to last night’s strong gains in BHP and Rio Tinto on overseas registers.

There were some impressive performances across base metals, but none better than lead as it surged 2% to nudge US$0.86 per pound, and its chances of hitting a six month high look increasingly likely.

Nickel gained nearly 2% to finish just shy of US$6.40 per pound, and it is now set to challenge the US$8.00 per pound mark that it traded at nearly 12 months ago.

Zinc continues to look robust, and in the last 10 sessions it has recorded seven gains, increasing about 8% to US$1.07 per pound, a level it hasn’t traded at for more than six months.

The Australian dollar strengthened significantly overnight, pushing up to US$0.724 before settling in the vicinity of US$0.72.

The overnight peak was the highest level our currency has traded at relative to the US dollar since January 2019.

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