Market Update & Important Indicators:
Stocks around the world were broadly steady after a weekend attack in the U.K. and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Travel and leisure shares lost ground in the U.S. and Europe after a terror attack in London late Saturday that left seven dead. Some investors and analysts said geopolitical forces were having less impact on share prices than signs of a robust global economy and corporate earnings growth that have propelled indexes around the world to record heights. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the S&P 500 Index, reached all-time highs last week. Investor expectations of stock swings over the next 30 days also remained muted. The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, hit its lowest level in almost a quarter-century on Friday, June 2, and slipped even lower earlier today. The volatility gauge is based on options prices on the S&P 500 index and tends to rise when stocks fall. Rising slightly for the day, the U.S. gold price rose 0.1% to 1,279.30 US$/oz. Potential triggers this week for a market wobble include public testimony from former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, a European Central Bank meeting and the U.K.'s general election on Thursday, market participants said.
European stocks ended down Monday, as investors focused on a coming European Central Bank meeting and the political repercussions of London's weekend terror attack. The Stoxx Europe 600 shed 0.1% to finish at 392.04. The pan European benchmark erased part of last week's 0.3% gain, which lifted the index to within 1% of its 2017 closing high achieved on May 10. There has been no shortage of analysts recommending that investors buy European equities this year as the region's economy and earnings prospects improve, giving the Stoxx 600 a year-to-date gain of 8.5%. On Thursday, the ECB's take on improving economic readings will get attention, but the central bank isn't expected to announce any policy change.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia's S&P ASX 200 fell 0.6%, while Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was roughly flat. Chinese stocks had a mixed performance. A decline in large financial shares pulled down the Shanghai Composite Index 0.5%. Meanwhile small-caps rallied after the nation's securities regulator eased the pace of new share issuances, boosting the Shenzhen Composite Index 0.7%.
Australian shares ended a four-session winning streak, falling Monday with a selloff of the major banks. The local market underperformed major indexes in the region, shrugging off positive leads from fresh record highs for U.S. stocks at the end of last week and a rebound in iron-ore prices. The decline comes a day before the Reserve Bank of Australia's monthly policy meeting, which is widely expected to see the benchmark cash rate held at a record low, and two days ahead of economic-growth figures for the first quarter of the year. Wiping out most of last week's modest advance, the S&P/ASX 200 ended 33.2 points, or 0.6%, lower at 5454.9. The four biggest banks collectively knocked almost 21 points off the index, retreating from a recovery on Friday.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed 0.65% lower on Monday at $5,628/t. All other base metals finished lower. Aluminium prices fell 1.5% to 1,900/t, lead prices dropped 0.3% to 2,083/t, nickel prices shed 0.1% to 8,867/t, tin prices fell 0.9% to 20,245/t, and zinc prices shed 1.8% to 2,469/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Ramelius Resources Ltd (RMS), Zenith Energy Ltd (ZEN), Blackham Resources Ltd (BLK), Top End Minerals Ltd (TND), Northern Star Resources Ltd (NST), Xanadu Mines Ltd (XAM), Dacian Gold (DCN), Egan Street Resources Ltd (EGA), Alice Queen Ltd (AQX), Paringa Resources Ltd (PNL), AWE Limited (AWE), Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (SAR), Red River Resources Ltd (RVR), Vital Metals Ltd (VML), Prairie Mining Ltd (PDZ), Hotcopper Holdings Ltd (HOT), Resolute Mining Ltd (RSG), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Pantoro Ltd (PNR), Beadell Resources Ltd (BDR), Investigator Resources Ltd (IVR), Echo Resources (EAR), Emerald Resources NL (EMR)