Market Update & Important Indicators:
Solid corporate earnings and a slightly stronger-than-expected April jobs report lifted the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to fresh records. Hiring data released by the Labor Department on Friday bolstered the case that the broader economy is strengthening after some weak signals earlier this year. Still, many investors and the Federal Reserve brushed off concerns about the U.S. economy's soft first-quarter patch and this past week the Fed suggested it is committed to tightening monetary policy. Friday's jobs report encouraged more confidence in the stock market, some investors and analysts said. The S&P 500 rose 9.77 points, or 0.4%, to 2399.29. The Nasdaq Composite gained 25.42 points, or 0.4%, to 6100.76, its third record close of the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 55.47 points, or 0.3%, to 21006.94. Technology companies have posted some of the strongest earnings growth, with the S&P 500 sector on track to grow 17% from a year ago, according to FactSet.
European stocks climbed out of the red and finished at a 21-month high Friday, as buying appetite for assets perceived as risky returned ahead of the French presidential election. The Stoxx Europe 600 index turned higher during the session, ending up 0.7% at 394.54, it’s highest since August 2015. The pan-European benchmark logged a 1.9% weekly advance, boosted by well-received earnings reports and hopes that centrist Emmanuel Macron will beat far-right Marine Le Pen in Sunday's runoff race in France. France's CAC 40 index finished up 1.1% at 5,432.40, sticking to its highest level since January 2008. The index closed the week up 3%, extending last week's rise of 4.1%.
Asian shares close down Friday, with both the Hang Seng Index the Shanghai Composite Index falling 0.8% amid a slump in commodities and oil prices. The Shenzhen Composite meanwhile loses 1.2% with the Hang Seng sub-index tracking Chinese shares ending down 1.6%. Most declines in Hong Kong came from energy firms, after WTI crude dropped as low as $43.76 a barrel in Asian trade, the lowest since Nov. 15. Weaker oil prices also drove losses in Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and India, though crude oil prices have just pared losses. Iron ore traded in Dalian, China ended down 8%, with the daily trading limit with Nickel in London down to its lowest level in nearly a year.
Australian shares hit a two-week low on Friday as resources stocks joined a broad pullback, leaving the market nursing its sharpest weekly fall since early February. The major banks, which carry a heavy weight in the local market, have weighed heavily since Australia & New Zealand Banking disappointed investors with a slightly weaker-than-expected rise in first-half earnings. Analysts say the results offered little to support the strong gains the sector has notched up since the U.S. presidential election. A slide in crude-oil and metals prices hit mining and energy stocks on Friday, adding to weakness across all sectors other than telecommunications stocks. Falling for a fourth straight day, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 39.8 points, or 0.7%, to 5836.6. For the week, the index was down 1.5%.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed up 0.76% at $5,585/t. The other base metals finished mixed on Friday. Nickel prices rose 1.5% at 9,108/t, whilst zinc prices rose 0.6% at 2,583/t. Falling for the day, aluminium prices fell 0.6% to 1,896/t, lead prices dropped 0.4% closing at 2,183/t and tin prices fell 1.3% at 19,657/t.
In this Issue:
St George Mining (SGQ) | Best Nickel/Copper intercept to date | SPEC BUY
Market Cap $36m | Current Price $0.16
St George Mining (SGQ) released further results from the ongoing drilling program at the Mt Alexander Project (JV: SGQ 75%, Western Areas [WSA]:25%). This included the best intercept to date from the Cathedrals Prospect, measuring 9.3% Ni and 2% Cu. Positive results have been returned from other prospects within the project, including 22m of Ni/Cu sulphides from 32m at the Stricklands prospect, incorporating ~2m of massive sulphides grading >2% Ni and >1.7% Cu. While massive sulphide intervals drilled to date are generally thin, mineralisation is shallow (generally <120m depth) and high grade Ni is complemented with strong Cu, Co and PGEs credits resulting in high tenor Ni equivalent grades (6-11% Ni Eq.). We believe this could support economic development following the definition of a maiden resource. The Company is also set to commence drilling programs at its East Laverton Gold Project and the Windsor Nickel Prospect in the same region. We regard SGQ as a well-funded ($5.7m cash at 31 March) base metal and gold explorer which will generate strong newsflow through 2017.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
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), Hazer Group Ltd (HZR), Transerv Energy Ltd (TSV), Ausquest Ltd (AQD), Quintis Ltd (QIN), Paradigm Biopharma Ltd (PAR), Pharmaust Ltd (PAA), Strandline Resources Ltd (STA), PharmaNet Group (PNO), Emerald Resources NL (EMR), Echo Resources (EAR), Investigator Resources Ltd (IVR), Beadell Resources Ltd (BDR), Pantoro Ltd (PNR), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Resolute Mining Ltd (RSG)