Market Update & Important Indicators:
Stocks slipped, putting the S&P 500 on track for its longest stretch of declines since October 200 8. The index has fallen nearly 3% since Oct. 25 as polls have tightened in the U.S. presidential election. Still, that decline is much milder than the 23% the S&P 500 lost in its previous eight-session losing streak during the financial crisis, according to WSJ Market Data Group. The index slid 5.3% over two sessions following the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union in June. Some investors and analysts said ongoing jitters and the need to reposition in case of a surprise outcome next week, as happened in the U.K., were prompting the extended drift lower. The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures investors' expectations for stock swings, moved higher for seven sessions through Wednesday and was up 14% Thursday.
Europe's main stock benchmark closed a touch higher, with banks providing support after a dose of upbeat results and a U.K. court ruling viewed as favourable for the country's financial sector. The Stoxx Europe 600 index edged up just 0.01 point to end at 331.56, breaking an eight-session losing streak-its longest since October 2014. The index couldn't hold a more sizable intraday gain, having traded as high as 334.05 during the session, according to FactSet data.
Asian shares were mixed on Thursday as the possibility that Republican candidate Donald Trump might be voted in as U.S. president kept traders on edge. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed down 0.6%. Japan's stock exchange was closed for a holiday. Stocks were therefore unable to respond to a 0.7% rise in the Japanese yen against the dollar, hitting its strongest level since Oct. 4. The dollar has lost more than 1% against the yen in the past two weeks, as traders sought the safe-haven currency amid uncertainties about the U.S. presidential race. China's domestic stocks opened lower, but quickly rose as the country's run of strong economic data continued. Activity in China's services sector expanded at a faster pace in October, a private gauge showed Thursday, adding to recent signs of firmness in the country's economy. The Shanghai Composite closed up 0.8%.
Australian shares edged lower Thursday despite some signs of buying interest sparked by earnings season and off the back of a recovery in oil prices. Investors remained cautious as the U.S. presidential race tightens, and after heightened jitters this week following a Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll that showed Republican candidate Donald Trump had gained ground on Hillary Clinton. Falling for a third straight session, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 3.4 points, or almost 0.1% percent, to a fresh seven-week low of 5225.6. Property trusts and utilities were down most sharply, offsetting gains in the basket of energy shares and health care stocks. The local currency strengthened during the session, helped by data showing the monthly trade deficit narrowed in September.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months was recently up 0.8% at $4,959/t. Nickel rose 1.6% to $10,440/t, aluminium rose 0.2% to $1,728/t, zinc rose 2.6% to $2,475/t, tin rose 1.6% to $21,285/t, whilst lead rose 1.9% at $2,077/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Stavely Minerals Ltd (SVY), MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (MXC), Vital Metals Ltd (VML), Tox Free Solutions Ltd (TOX), Swick Mining Services Ltd (SWK), Davenport Resources Ltd (DAV), Orthocell Ltd (OCC), BC Iron Limited (BCI), ALT Resources Ltd (ARS), Gascoyne Resources Ltd (GCY), Dacian Gold (DCN), Orocobre Ltd (ORE), Alchemy Resources Ltd (ALY), Acacia Coal Ltd (AJC), Minotaur Exploration Ltd (MEP), Northern Minerals Ltd (NTU), Walkabout Resources Ltd (WKT), Antipa Minerals Ltd (AZY), Noxopharm Limited (NOX), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Emerald Resources NL (EMR), Metals of Africa Ltd (MTA)