Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks tumbled on the first day of the second quarter, as sliding technology shares and rising global trade tensions dragged major indexes lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.9%, after logging its biggest quarterly loss in more than two years. The S&P 500 lost 2.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite declined 2.7%, re-joining the other two indexes in negative territory for 2018. Technology shares pressured the market after a fresh string of negative news for many of the industry's leading companies. Amazon.com shed 4.3% as President Donald Trump took to Twitter to blast the company's business practices. Tesla slipped 4.1% following rebukes from the National Transportation Safety Board over the disclosures it mad e about a fatal crash involving one of its vehicles. And Facebook, whose handling of users' data has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks, fell 2.2%, deepening declines after its biggest one-quarter percentage loss since 2016. The selling added to what has been a rough patch for the technology sector, which after leading the stock market higher at the start of the year tumbled toward the end of the first quarter. Meanwhile, shares of manufacturers slid after China imposed tariffs on a range of U.S. agricultural goods, following through on a promise to retaliate against the Trump administration's penalties on imports of Chinese steel and aluminium. S&P 500 earnings are expected to grow 17% in the first quarter from the year-earlier period, according to FactSet, building on gains that helped propel the index to its fastest pace of earnings growth since 2011. The U.S. gold price rose strongly overnight, jumping 1.19% to finish at 1,340.80 US$/oz.
Asia stocks succumbed to late afternoon selling Monday as investors took profits amid global trade tensions and concerns over the tech sector. Investors cashed in on gains made while U.S. and European markets were closed for holidays, turning early advances in Japan and South Korea into moderate declines. Beijing fired the latest shot in recent global trade skirmishes with new tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods, though the move was largely expected. The Nikkei lost 0.3%, with SoftBank down 1.1%, while Korea's Kospi fell 0.1%, with Samsung Electronics losing 1.3%. Taiwan's Taiex closed down 0.3%, with Largan Precision shedding 4.9%. Shanghai was down 0.2% despite gains earlier in the day suggesting markets had largely shrugged off Beijing's tariff move and mixed signals on the strength of Chinese manufacturing activity. China imposed tariffs ranging from 25% on American pork to 15% on fruit, as it followed through on a promise to retaliate against the Trump administration's tariffs on imports of Chinese steel and aluminium. New rules enabling China's largest technology companies to return to the mainland market continued to give Chinese stocks some buoyancy, helping keep the Shenzhen composite up 0.2%. Markets in Hong Kong were also closed Monday for a public holiday.
Markets in Australia and Europe were both closed Monday for public holidays as well as the London Metal Exchange.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
ABM Resources Ltd (ABU), Vital Metals Ltd (VML), Todd River Resources Ltd (TRT), Pacific Energy Ltd (PEA), Carnarvon Petroleum Ltd (CVN), Australian Mines Ltd (AUZ), Australian Finance Group (AFG), Paladin Energy Ltd (PDN), Cooper Energy Ltd (COE), Medibio Ltd (MEB), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Salt Lake Potash Ltd (SO4), Golden Mile Resources Ltd (G88), NTM Gold Ltd (NTM), Ausmex Mining Group Ltd (AMG), Matrix C&E Ltd (MCE), Austal Ltd (ASB), Decmil Group Ltd (DCG), Ventnor Resources Ltd, Ausdrill Ltd (ASL), Alice Queen Ltd (AQX), PNX Metals Ltd (PNX), Alliance Resources Ltd (AGS), Myanmar Metals Ltd (MYL), Primary Gold Ltd (PGO), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH)