Overseas markets up, good gains in commodities, but futures flat

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Oct 12, 2020, in Market Wrap

The S&P/ASX 200 index (XJO) finished the week at 6102 points, representing a gain of more than 5%, its best performance in about six months.

With overseas markets finishing the week off strongly this positive momentum could continue on Monday, but futures markets tend to suggest that any potential upside is already factored in following last week’s rally.

But further positive sentiment should stem from strength across most commodities, including oil, gold, iron ore and base metals, suggesting our market could continue its run.

However, the ASX SPI200 index is currently pointing to a fairly flat start, down 5 points to 6091 points.

The UK and Europe set the tone on Friday with the FTSE 100 gaining 0.6% or 38 points to close at 6016 points.

In mainland Europe, France led the way with the CAC 40 gaining 0.7%, pushing up 35 points to 4947 points.

The DAX was relatively flat, up nine points to 13,051 points.

There were across-the-board gains in the US with the NASDAQ leading the way once again as it gained 1.4% or 159 points to close at 11,579 points.

This is its best close since retracing from an all-time record close of 12,056 points on September 2.

The S&P 500 gained 0.9% to close at 3477 points, while the Dow rallied 161 points after being up by about 440 points at one stage.

Gold continued its end of the week resurgence, closing at US$1936 per ounce, up more than US$50 per ounce from a low struck earlier in the week.

While the Brent Crude Oil Continuous Contract tapered off on Friday, its close of US$42.82 per barrel represented a strong week-on-week gain after starting the week below US$40 per barrel.

There were across-the-board gains in base metals with copper consolidating above US$3.00 per pound.

However, nickel was a standout performer, increasing from US$6.65 per pound to US$6.85 per pound, a gain of more than 3%.

Zinc registered its fourth consecutive day of gains, having put on nearly 4% to finish at US$1.09 per pound.

Lead gained about 1% to close above US$0.81 per pound.

This strong performances on the base metals front could see diversified mining group South 32 (ASX: S32) continue its strong performance after recording five consecutive days of gains last week, driving its share price 7% higher in October.

The Australian dollar started a strong run on Tuesday from about US$0.71 to push above US$0.72 on Friday.

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