Morning Notes

08/09/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Market Update & Important Indicators
Shares of financial companies sagged under the pressure of falling bond yields and the threat of Hurricane Irma, weighing on major stock indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 46 points, or 0.2%, to 21762 intraday. The S&P 500 declined 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped less than 0.1%. Declines in Treasury yields, along with concerns about the storm's potential impact on Florida as it battered islands in the Caribbean, helped erase stocks' early gains following the European Central Bank's decision to leave monetary policy unchanged while reaffirming the resilience of the eurozone economy. Shares of financial companies in the S&P 500 tumbled 1.8%. Hurricane Harvey is already projected to disrupt measures of the U.S. economy in the weeks and months ahead. Jobless claims surged in a report, while forecasters in The Wall Street Journal's survey of economists expect the growth rate of gross domestic product to fall by about 0.3 percentage points in the third quarter. Some expect Irma to further hurt some economic indicators in the near term, which could dampen expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this year. The U.S. gold price rose overnight, gaining 1.1% to close at 1,348.60 US$/oz.

European stocks rose as eurozone economic growth figures were raised and the European Central Bank offered few surprises in leaving monetary policy intact. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.3% to close at 374.95, little changed after the conclusion of ECB President Mario Draghi's news conference in Frankfurt. Only the financial sector finished in the red. On Wednesday, the index closed up 0.1%, snapping a two-day losing streak. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 index climbed 0.7% to 12,296.63, and in Paris, the CAC 40 index gained 0.3% to 5,114.62. In London, the FTSE 100 rose 0.6% to 7,396.98. The ECB said it would continue its asset-purchase program at EUR60 billion a month through the end of 2017, or beyond, and that stimulus measures could be ramped up if the outlook deteriorates.

The biggest moves in the Asia-Pacific region came in Korea, where the Kospi rose 1.1%. as attention -- for now --shifted away from North Korea. The rebound came after five consecutive trading sessions in the red, to mark its longest losing streak since April. Recent tensions in the Korean Peninsula were a trigger for investors to pull back after this year's robust gains, when stock indexes in markets like Hong Kong, South Korea, India and Singapore notched double-digit increases. Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.3%, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.6%. In Japan, the Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.2%.

Australian shares slid in late afternoon before managing enough buying to finish with a miniscule gain. The S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2 point to 5689.2 as a drop in big miner BHP Billiton from trading ex-dividend countered rebounds in CBA and Telstra. The index rose as much as 0.5% early, following up on overnight gains in the U.S.

The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded slightly lower overnight, dropping 0.04% to finish at $6,898/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Nickel prices fell 0.1% to 12,086/t, while aluminium prices rose by 0.1% to close at 2,083/t. Lead prices traded flat at 2,311/t, whilst Zinc prices bounced by 1.1% to 3,126/t. Tin prices fell by 0.2% to finish at 20,873/t.

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