Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks hovered around the flat line on Monday, as a slump in materials shares offset gains in the energy and technology sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21011. The S&P 500 lost less than 0.1% after briefly touching an intraday record in early trading. The Nasdaq Composite declined less than 0.1%. Materials shares in the S&P 500 declined 0.8% amid a further slide in prices for industrial metals. Copper for July delivery lost 1.4% on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange after weak economic data from China raised concerns about slipping demand from the world's largest consumer of the metal. Energy stocks were among the best performers in the S&P 500, rising 0.5%. Tech stocks once again gained strongly. The U.S. gold price finished 0.2% lower at 1,226 US$/oz.
Stocks across Europe closed in the red Monday, with shares in Paris retreating from a nine-year high after market favourite Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election on Sunday. The Stoxx Europe 600 index shed 0.1% to finish at 394.04, pulling back slightly after rallying into the vote. The benchmark on Friday closed at its highest level since August 2015 and last week gained 1.9%, with investors snapping up stocks on expectations that independent centrist Macron would defeat far-right Marine Le Pen in the French runoff vote. On Monday, France's CAC 40 index gave up 0.9% to end at 5,382.95, after closing on Friday at its highest since January 2008. At that point, the French benchmark had surged 7.4% since April 23, when Macron came out on top in the first round of the presidential race. The CAC 40 this year has climbed nearly 11% and the Stoxx Europe 600 has bulked up 9%.
Markets in Asia mostly moved higher, supported by the outcome in France and a record finish for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite on Friday. Stocks had been lifted by earnings reports and a slightly better-than-expected April jobs report. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 2.3% to its highest level in 17 months as it re-opened after public holidays. Korea's Kospi also added 2.3%, hitting an all-time high. Stock markets in China were lower, however, amid concerns that sustained regulatory tightening might force funds to exit. Data showed China's trade surplus widened in April, but both exports and imports grew less than expected. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.8% Monday.
Australian shares rebounded from four straight sessions of losses on Monday, helped by a recovery by the banks and strong gains for mining and energy companies. Broadly as-expected first-half earnings from Westpac Banking helped firm up sentiment toward the major banks. The sector was sold down last week following a soft half-year report from Australia & New Zealand Banking and in a pull-back for the sector after a strong run higher since the U.S. presidential election. Signs of stability in commodity prices also shored up investor confidence and lifted resources stocks. With most industry sectors higher for the day, the S&P/ASX 200 finished up 34.3 points, or 0.6%, at 5870.9.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed down 1.77% at $5,486/t. The other base metals finished mixed on Monday. Aluminium prices fell 1.2% at 1,873/t, whilst lead prices also declined 0.8% to 2,167/t. Rising for the day, tin prices jumped 0.8% to 19,820 whilst zinc prices rose 0.3% to 2,590/t. Nickel prices were flat for the day finishing at 9,108/t.
Thought of the day:
Engineering Construction | Sector Outlook
The engineering construction industry is undergoing a pivot from record mining, oil and gas investment to a government-led infrastructure boom. This is likely to see turnover in the engineering construction industry once again return to positive year-on-year growth after two years of decline. The majority of new infrastructure investment will be focussed on road and rail projects on the East Coast. As construction in the resources sector continues to come off record highs, there has been a noticeable shift from EPCM contracts to EPC contracts as smaller scale projects in base and precious metals take precedence.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
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), Hotcopper Holdings Ltd (HOT), Prairie Mining Ltd (PDZ)