Market Update & Important Indicators:
The potential for regulatory rollbacks injected new enthusiasm for financial stocks, sending major indexes higher Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 187 points, or 0.9%, to 20071, its biggest one-day gain in nearly two months. The S&P 500 climbed 0.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.5%. Both indexes ended the week in positive territory, while the Dow fell slightly. After rallying into the end of 2016, the blue-chip index's gains have stalled in recent weeks as hopes for increased government spending, corporate tax cuts and loosened regulation waned. On Friday President Donald Trump took action on rolling back financial regulation, boosting bank stocks. He signed executive actions to scale back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law and to roll back a retirement-savings rule that would hold brokers and financial advisers who work with tax-advantaged retirement savings to a fiduciary standard. A pickup in hiring in January also fuelled stocks' gains on Friday. Jobs outside of farms increased 227,000 in January, the best gain since September, the Labor Department reported Friday. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.8% from 4.7% a month earlier, and workers' wages rose only modestly.
Stocks in Europe gained Friday, with banks rising on the prospect that President Donald Trump will loosen U.S. regulations on the financial industry. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.6% to close at 364.07, trimming its weekly loss to 0.6%. Friday's jump also took the index to its highest close since Jan. 27. The financial sector was putting in the best performance Friday, with the Stoxx 600 Bank Index rising 1.3%.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.6% Friday as stock trading resumed in China following the Lunar New Year Holiday. Data also showed a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing growth last month, weighing on shares. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 0.2% while Japan's Nikkei Stock Average ended flat.
Australian stocks closed lower Friday, dragged down by shares of resources companies and the major banks. After initially rising, the S&P/ASX 200 pulled back after midday and eventually settled near its low of the session, down 23.8 points, or 0.4%, at 5621.6. For the week, the index fell 1.6% to wipe out last week's gains. Iron-ore, steel and other futures fell in China as trading resumed after the Lunar New Year market holiday, weighing heavily on Australia's materials sector. Energy stocks were also broadly lower following an overnight drop in crude-oil prices on signs from the U.S. of falling production and rising inventories. This week, President Donald Trump blasted an Obama-era agreement to consider accepting up to 1,250 refugees being held in Australia-backed offshore camps as "dumb" in a tweet, prompting doubts about the pact's fate. This followed Mr. Trump's withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that Canberra continues to support. The focus for the local market next week will likely shift to the start of corporate earnings season, as well as the year's first monetary-policy meeting of the Reserve Bank of Australia and any revision of the central bank's forecasts.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months was down 1.94% at $5,772/t. The other base metals were mainly lower on Friday. Lead prices fell 0.5% to 2,329/t, nickel prices fell 1.6% to 10,171/t, tin prices fell 0.4 % to 19,717/t and zinc prices fell 1.6% to 2,794/t. Aluminium bucked the trend rising 0.2% at 1,822/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
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) Orthocell Ltd (OCC), Strandline Resources Ltd (STA) Dragontail Systems Ltd (DTS), ABM Resources Ltd (ABU), Acacia Coal Ltd (AJC), Troy Resources Ltd (TRY), Hazer Group Ltd (HZR), Berkeley Energia Ltd (BKY), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH), Sovereign Metals Ltd (SVM), Kin Mining (KIN), Vital Metals Ltd (VML), Mincor Resources (MCR), Dacian Gold (DCN)