Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stock indexes wavered intraday, pressured by a steep drop in commodity prices. Major stock indexes have climbed over the past few weeks as quarterly earnings results have pointed to health among U.S. corporations. The U.S. posted the biggest improvement in its revision ratio – which measures the ratio of upward and downward earnings estimates by analysts – of all regions in April, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Solid earnings could help stocks continue advancing, investors and analysts say, even as some have expressed concerns about recent weakness in inflation, consumer spending and economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average intraday fell 22 points, or 0.1%, to 20935. The S&P 500 edged up less than 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite was down less than 0.1%. The U.S. gold price fell once again, dropping 0.8% to 1,228 US$/oz.
Europe's benchmark stock index closed at nearly a 21-month high, boosted by a round of well-received earnings reports from heavyweights such as Royal Dutch Shell and HSBC Holdings. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.7% to end at 391.98, closing at its highest level since August 2015. The pan-European benchmark has put on 3.1% over the past month, thanks in part to bets that French voters will elect market-friendly candidate Emmanuel Macron in Sunday's presidential election and reject far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who has threatened to pull the country out of the European Union.
Asian stocks tilted lower as investors were largely unmoved by an as-expected policy announcement from the Federal Reserve. Korea's Kospi was a lone standout on the upside. The equities index topped 2011's record high to continue a strong recent run as foreign money flows into the market. The Kospi, up 0.6%, has risen 11 of the past 14 sessions. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.3%. Benchmarks in Hong Kong and Singapore fell 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively. Japan's markets were closed for a holiday. Singapore shares end lower as investors booked profits from recent gains. The FTSE Straits Times Index fell 0.3% to 3228.62 points.
Australian shares extended their string of losses as a pullback by the big banks again weighed on the market. The largest banks have fallen three days running, since Australia & New Zealand Banking disappointed investors with a slightly weaker-than-expected first-half earnings report and a further deterioration in its lending margin thanks to heightened competition and higher funding costs. Prior to the current losing streak, the broader market Monday hit a two-year closing high after a series of increases by the banks over the previous week, extending gains in the sector since the November election of U.S. President Donald Trump on expectations of rising interest rates and inflation in the U.S. Although off the day's lows, the S&P/ASX 200 ended down 15.9 points, or 0.3%, at 5876.4. Mining stocks added to the selling as they came under pressure with a fresh drop in prices for the steelmaking commodity and a sharp overnight decline in copper. That offset strength in energy shares after late-session gains in U.S. oil prices Wednesday.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed down 1.02% at $5,543/t. Most other base metals finished down on Thursday. Nickel prices fell 2.3% at 8,970/t, tin prices fell 0.1% at 19,920/t, aluminium prices fell 0.5% to 1,907/t, whilst lead prices also dropped 0.7%, closing at 2,192/t. Zinc prices were flat for the day finishing at 2,566/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Capricorn Metals Ltd (CMM) Independence Group (IGO), Cardinal Resources Limited (CDV), Metal Bank Ltd (MBK), MOD Resources Ltd (MOD) Quintis Ltd (QIN), Regis Resources Ltd (RRL), Apollo Minerals Ltd (AON), Ironbark Zinc Ltd (IBG), Sovereign Metals Ltd (SVM), Pilbara Minerals Ltd (PLS), Laconia Resources Ltd (LCR), Hazer Group Ltd (HZR), Transerv Energy Ltd (TSV), Ausquest Ltd (AQD), Quintis Ltd (QIN), Paradigm Biopharma Ltd (PAR), Pharmaust Ltd (PAA), Strandline Resources Ltd (STA), PharmaNet Group (PNO), Emerald Resources NL (EMR), Echo Resources (EAR), Investigator Resources Ltd (IVR), Beadell Resources Ltd (BDR), Pantoro Ltd (PNR), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT)