Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks slipped Monday, with corporate earnings driving some of the biggest moves. Energy was the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500. U.S. crude oil was down following a report that U.S. rig counts rose last week. Market participants said investors appeared to be awaiting further policy moves from Washington, in the wake of a post-election rally driven by expectations of tax cuts and deregulation. Analysts in January lowered earnings estimates for companies in the S&P 500 for the first quarter of this year by 1.5%, compared with an average decline of 2.5% over the past year, according to FactSet. "We're coming out of the earnings recession, but margins are still shrinking if you take out banks," said James Swanson, a strategist and fund manager at MFS Investment Management.
European stocks finished lower Monday, with election-related worries prompting investors to step away from equities. The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed down 0.7% at 361.60. The pan-European index on Friday had risen 0.6%, a move that trimmed its weekly loss to 0.6%. Stocks found no relief Monday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated his stance that monetary stimulus will be available if warranted for the Eurozone economy. A pickup in inflation has spurred calls from German officials for the ECB to begin winding down its measures.
Asian markets mostly closed higher Monday despite mixed economic data from the region, echoing Friday's gains on Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average added 0.3% after its biggest weekly decline in seven months. Banks were among the best performers, tracking their U.S. counterparts, after President Donald Trump took action Friday to scale back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law and to roll back a retirement-savings rule. Still, some investors in Japan were worried about Mr. Trump's meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this week. If Mr. Trump labels Japan a currency manipulator, it could boost the yen and weigh on shares of Japanese exporters. Elsewhere in Asian trading, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 1%, while the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.5% as investors digested Friday's U.S. jobs report. A private gauge released Monday also showed activity in China's service sector expanded at a slightly slower pace in January, adding to the mixed signals coming from the Chinese economy.
Australian shares pulled back for a third straight session Monday, failing to hold on to early gains as resources and consumer companies lost ground. The market initially rebounded, tracking Friday's advance on Wall Street and the biggest one-day gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average in almost two months on the potential for regulatory rollbacks in the financial sector. But the Australian market faded steadily and the S&P/ASX 200 finished down 6 points, or 0.1%, at 5615.6. An early rally by the major banks lost steam through the session, while mining stocks weighed on the market following declines in the price of iron ore, copper and other metals.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed up 1.28% at $5,846/t. The other base metals were mixed on Monday. Lead prices closed up 1.0% at 2,351/t, whilst nickel prices closed up 2.2% at 10.397/t. Falling for the day, aluminium dropped -0.1% at 1,821/t whilst tin fell 2.8% at 19,173/t. Zinc finished flat for the day at 2,793/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
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), Leaf Resources Ltd (LER)