Market Update & Important Indicators:
Gains in energy shares pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher to open the final month of the year, while selling in yield-bearing stocks accelerated. Energy stocks were among the biggest climbers in the S&P 500, adding 1.8% as U.S. crude continued climbing. U.S. oil prices rose 4.2% to $51.49 a barrel after surging more than 9% on Wednesday in the wake of a deal from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut production. U.S. Treasury’s saw their worst month in seven years in November. The election of Donald Trump has boosted investors' expectations for higher U.S. growth and inflation in recent sessions, sending government debt and dividend stocks tumbling while sparking gains in the dollar and shares that tend to do better in times of economic expansion. Some analysts said a strong jobs report Friday could increase the pace of that rotation, even as several remain concerned that investors' hopes for a new pickup in economic expansion eventually could be dashed.
European stocks ended lower for the first time in three days as investors opted for caution ahead of Italy's weekend referendum, which is feared to spark a political crisis in the Eurozone. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.3% to close at 340.86. Italy is heading to the polls on Sunday to vote on a proposal for constitutional reforms. However, the ballot is generally being seen as a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, with the risk that a victory for "no" will lead to his resignation and the dissolution of Italy's government.
Asian stock markets rose Thursday, with Japan's Nikkei at its highest close this year, after major oil-producing nations signed a deal to cut crude-oil output. The Nikkei Stock Average ended up 1.1% at 18513.12, surpassing the Jan. 4 closing high of 18450.98. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended up 0.4% and Singapore's Straits Times Index climbed 0.6%. Despite much scepticism about the deal, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries late Wednesday agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day, marking the group's first concerted effort to slash output since 2008. The move sent crude-oil prices up more than 9% overnight. The OPEC cut represents about 1% of global production, which will help reduce an oil glut that has depressed prices for more than two years. The surge in oil prices, along with solid U.S. economic data overnight, sent the U.S. dollar to its highest level against the yen since February.
A landmark agreement to reduce crude-oil output fuelled a rally in resources stocks and lifted appetite for risk, buoying Australia's equities market Thursday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Wednesday agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day from the current 33.6 million barrels. Australian energy and mining stocks notched up strong gains for the session, supported by a further rise in bank shares this week. Finishing at its high for the day after losses the previous three sessions, the S&P/ASX 200 picked up 59.7 points, or 1.1%, to 5500.2. The three sectors that account for much of the Australian market were all up, with the energy sector jumping 7.2%, materials stocks gaining 2.9% and financial shares up 1.3%.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months was down 0.5% at $5,795/t. All other base metals were mostly down on Thursday. Aluminium prices fell 0.6% to $1,721/t, nickel fell 0.4% to $11,157/t, lead fell 2.2% to $2,299/t. Tin was flat at 21,315/t whilst zinc bucked the trend rising 0.9% to 2,713/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Noxopharm Limited (NOX), Emerald Resources NL (EMR), Metals of Africa Ltd (MTA), Stavely Minerals Ltd (SVY), Australis Oil & Gas Ltd (ATS), Davenport Resources Ltd (DAV), TFS Corporation Limited (TFC), Emmerson Resources Ltd (ERM), Syntonic Ltd (SYT), MZI Resources Ltd (MZI), Resolute Mining Ltd (RSG), Orthocell Ltd (OCC), Capricorn Metals Ltd (CMM), Eve Investments Ltd (EVE) , Australian Mines Ltd (AUZ), Heron Resources Ltd (HRR), St George Mining Ltd (SGQ), Threat Protect Australia Ltd (TPS), Paringa Resources Ltd (PNL), The Gruden Group Ltd (GGL), Primary Gold Ltd (PGO), Vault Intelligence Ltd (VLT), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT)