Morning Notes

15/09/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Market Update & Important Indicators
The Dow Jones Industrial Average headed toward its third record close of the week intraday, even as other major U.S. indexes edged slightly lower. Stocks hovered between small gains and losses for much of the day, marking a pause after the Dow industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closed at records together two consecutive sessions in a row. Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have eased somewhat, and political gridlock in Washington has appeared to ease, helping stocks generally move higher this week. Still, many investors wait for clarity on a number of potential risks-including signs of rising inflation, a coming Republican tax proposal and the start of the next earnings season. The Dow industrials rose 48 points, or 0.2%, to 22205. The S&P 500 declined less than 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3%. The U.S. gold price traded higher overnight, bouncing 0.5% to close at 1,329.00 US$/oz.

European stocks ended a choppy session slightly higher, but saw gains capped as the Bank of England hinted rates could rise in coming months, and as disappointing data from China raised questions about the strength of the world's second-largest economy. Traders also appeared cautious about taking on more risk after the latest threats from North Korea. The Stoxx Europe 600 index finished 0.1% higher at 381.79, after earlier flipping between small gains and losses. The pan-European benchmark is up 1.7% for the week, and it closed marginally lower Wednesday, breaking a five-session winning run. Mining stocks posted some of the biggest losses after China posted a surprise slowdown in business activity in August. Value-added industrial output, a rough proxy for economic growth, slowed for a second straight month, rising 6.0% in August, compared with a 6.4% increase in July. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slumped 1.1% to end at 7,295.39, whacked by the pound's leap. Germany's DAX 30 index dropped 0.1% to end at 12,540.45, while France's CAC 40 index edged up 0.2% to close at 5,225.20.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 was off 0.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 0.5%, while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.8%. Chinese retail sales, industrial production and fixed-asset investment all slowed last month. Singapore's benchmark share index closed lower after starting the day on a weak note and getting pushed lower following the soft Chinese macroeconomic data. The Straits Times Index ended 0.3% lower at 3220.95, at a two-month low. After pausing briefly, Thailand's benchmark index resumed its climb to add 1%, notwithstanding declines in several Asian markets. The SET Index added 16.16 points to close at 1,659.10.

Australian banks and miners pulled the equity market in opposing directions, leaving it modestly lower in choppy session. The S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1% to 5738.7, for a second day slightly eating into early-week strength. The market was pressured initially by an overnight slide in iron-ore prices, and that was added to by muted Chinese economic data for August. Big miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto each fell nearly 2%. But Australia's major banks continued this week's rebound, led by a 0.8% gain at NAB.

The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded lower overnight, shedding 0.84% to finish at $6,498/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Nickel prices lost 1.3% to 11,124/t, while aluminium prices shed 0.5% to close at 2,068/t. Lead prices added 0.9% to close at 2,278/t, whilst Zinc prices fell by 0.4% to 3,009/t. Tin prices firmed 0.1% to finish at 20,632/t.

In this issue
Salt Lake Potash (SO4) | Successful process development testwork | SPEC BUY
Market Cap $81m | Current Price $0.46

Process development testwork on harvested salts from Lake Wells validates SO4’s initial modelling, refines flowsheet parameters, and provides the Company with a number of options to optimise the production process.

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