Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stock indexes climbed intraday as shares of energy companies rose with oil prices. Reports pointing to strength in the U.S. economy have supported stocks recently, even as investors have weighed the possibility that policies like tax cuts might not be imminent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26 points, or 0.1%, to 20673. The S&P 500 gained 0. 2% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.2%. The U.S. price of gold dropped 0.3% at 1,251.6 US$/oz. "The economy is getting fundamentally better, even absent any tax reform," said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company. "There's been a lot of skeptics out there throughout the recovery, but in general, the U.S. consumer is in a much more comfortable place."
European stocks ended slightly higher, after swinging between gains and losses through the session, as investors were reluctant to take any big risks ahead of a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.2% to close at 380.77, after trading as low as 377.16 earlier in the day. The pan-European index closed only fractionally higher on Wednesday.
Asian stocks closed broadly lower, weighed down by bearish sentiment towards risk assets following concerns around future U.S. policy. Japan led the declines, under pressure from a firmer yen, with the Nikkei closing at its lowest level of the year, down 1.4%. Only Chinese equities bucked the trend. The Nikkei Stock Average fell 264.21 points to 18597.06. The Topix index of all the Tokyo Stock Exchange First Section issues fell 24.48 points, or 1.6%, to 1480.18. In Singapore, stocks end nearly flat, after two straight days of declines, as a rise in two top realty stocks led a late-pullback in the market. The 30-stock Straits Times Index ended 0.03% lower at 3,175.59, also amid broadly weak cues from regional peers. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Index ended close to its lowest point of the day, tracking the broadly weaker Southeast Asian market. The region came under pressure over capital outflow concerns after the Federal Reserve meeting minutes reveal that most policymakers want the central bank to cut down its stimulus program. The 30-stocks benchmark index closed the day 0.3% lower at 1,739.56 points.
Australian shares stumbled, tracking weakness on Wall Street after the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve suggested the U.S. central bank was considering unwinding its easing program later this year. Led by a drop in financial stocks, the S&P/ASX 200 settled 19.9 points, or 0.3%, lower at 5856.3. It continues a roller-coaster ride for the index, one day up and the next down over the last week. Mining, energy and telecommunications stocks also pulled back. At their March meeting, Federal Reserve officials agreed they would likely begin reducing a US$4.5 trillion portfolio of Treasury and mortgage securities later in the year, according to minutes released Wednesday. The comments offered investors greater clarity on the timing of the anticipated unwinding.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed down 0.63% at $5,858/t. All other base metals finished mostly lower on Thursday. Aluminium prices fell 0.4% at 1,940/t, lead prices fell 0.7% at 2,285/t, nickel prices fell 2.1% at 10,019/t, whilst zinc prices fell 1.8% at 2,701/t. Tin prices bucked the trend rising 1.1% at 20,368/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Thundelarra Ltd (THX), DTI Group Ltd (DTI) OpenDNA Limited (OPN), Metro Mining Ltd (MMI), Tox Free Solutions Ltd (TOX), St George Mining Ltd (SGQ), Venturex Resources Ltd (VXR), Creso Pharma Limited (CPH), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH), Orecorp Limited (ORR) Doray Minerals Limited (DRM), 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)