Market Update & Important Indicators:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was inching higher in intraday trading, as gains in shares of technology companies offset declines in energy companies. Recent earnings results have largely been supportive for U.S. stocks. Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to grow 4.7% from the year-earlier period, according to FactSet, more than the 3.2% growth rate analysts had expected at the end of 2016. Many investors say they are cautiously optimistic for U.S. stocks' path forward, especially if companies can sustain earnings growth through the rest of the year and the White House is able to push through initiatives like fiscal stimulus and tax cuts. Energy shares were lagging, as U.S. crude oil prices pulled back 2% to $51.94 a barrel. Shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 lost 1.6% and were the worst performers in the broad index around midday.
European stocks mostly closed higher, aided by a pullback in the euro as investors assessed a round of corporate updates. The Stoxx Europe 600 index added 0.3% to end at 362.74, after losing 0.7% on Monday. Equities found some support as the euro dropped to a one-week low against the U.S. dollar, and a weaker euro is beneficial for European exporters. The euro changed hands at $1.0692, down from $1.0731 late Monday in New York.
Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region mostly edged down and the yen hit two-month highs against the dollar, as a risk-averse mood carried over from other global markets. The Japanese currency extended gains in Asia in the morning, sending the Nikkei Stock Average down 0.4%. The Japanese currency later retreated, however, and was last down 0.7% against the dollar. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.1%.
Australian shares edged higher, snapping a three-session losing streak, as gains by materials and industrial companies offset weakness among financial stocks. The modest gain for the equity market came after Australia's central bank signalled it remained positive about the economy as it left its benchmark cash rate unchanged at a record low 1.5%, the level at which it has been since August. The Reserve Bank of Australia flagged a return to reasonable economic growth in the final quarter of 2016 and presented a broadly neutral stance on future interest-rate moves in its statement. The Australian dollar jumped after the policy decision, as markets lowered expectations of near-term rate cuts. After pushing below 5600 early to the lowest intraday level since December, the S&P/ASX 200 steadily recovered to finish up 6.3 points, or 0.1%, at 5621.9.
Nickel for delivery in three months was down 0.9% at $10,355 a metric ton in London. All other base metals were mostly down on Tuesday. Aluminium prices fell 0.4% at 1,813/t, lead prices dropped 0.3% at 2,344/t, nickel prices fell 0.9% at 10,300/t whilst tin prices fell 1.5% at 18,894/t. Bucking the trend, zinc rose 0.1% at 2,794/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), Alchemy Resources Ltd (ALY)