Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks slipped intraday as falling oil prices pressured shares of energy companies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 20 points, or 0.1%, to 20,836 intraday. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both lost less than 0.1%. U.S. crude oil was down 2.7% at $48.92 a barrel intraday, building on a drop of more than 5% in the previous session – its largest one-day decline in more than a year. The U.S. gold price also finished lower overnight, dropping 0.5% to 1,200US$/oz. U.S. oil inventories are now at their highest levels since weekly stockpile data started being recorded in 1982, raising doubts over whether cuts from OPEC will be enough to reduce a global glut of supply. Energy stocks in the S&P 500 fell the most, and were recently down 0.5%. On Thursday, bank stocks were some of the best performers, with the index up 0.3% as bond yields climbed. Thursday also marks the eight-year anniversary of major stock indexes' financial-crisis lows. On March 9, 2009, the Dow industrials closed at 6547.05. The blue-chip index has since more than tripled from that level.
European stocks finished modestly higher, with bank shares charging up as the European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi, suggested deflationary pressures have lessened, though energy shares lost ground as oil prices slid. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.1% to close at 372.89, building on Wednesday's 0.1% gain. The pan-European index had been down 0.3% as Draghi started his afternoon news conference in Frankfurt. But bank shares began to stage a turnaround, pushing the Stoxx Europe 600 Bank Index higher by 1.1%.
Stocks in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taiwan moved lower following data on consumer inflation in China. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.7%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was off 1.2% and Taiwan's Taiex shed 1%. China's consumer-price index inched up 0.8% in February from a year earlier, compared with a 2.5% gain in January. China's producer-price index rose 7.8% last month from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said, the highest since September 2008. Japan's Nikkei rose 0.3% as a weaker yen helped boost export-reliant stocks and higher bond yields supported the financial sector. Thai shares end lower, tracking weak regional cues. The benchmark index closed 0.2% lower at 1,549.24 with energy stocks leading the losses. Indonesian shares closed slightly higher after two losing sessions, but trading volume was light, suggesting investors were still cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve rate-decision meeting next week.
Sharp falls in mining stocks and weakness in energy companies weighed heavily on Australia's equity market, offsetting pockets of strength in the banks and elsewhere. Iron-ore prices continued to pull back from recent unexpected strength overnight, and are now 10% below their February peak, while oil prices suffered their biggest one-day drop in more than a year after data showed U.S. crude stockpiled hit record levels even as major exporting nations were cutting output. In the 11th decline in the last 15 sessions, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 18.4 points, or 0.3%, to settle at 5741.2. The materials subindex slumped 2.6%, while the energy sector lost 1.1%.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed down 1.31% at $5,690/t. All other base metals were lower on Thursday. Aluminium prices fell 0.7% at 1,855/t, lead prices fell 0.2% at 2,249/t, nickel prices fell 0.5% at 10,092/t, tin prices fell 0.5% at 19,290/t, and zinc prices fell 1.1% at 2,670/t.
In this Issue:
Paladin Energy (PDN) | CNNC complicates restructure | SELL
Market Cap $180m | Current Price $0.011 | Target Price $0.08
Paladin Energy (PDN) provided an update on its corporate/balance sheet restructure process stating that China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) has requested a process to determine the fair market value of Paladin’s share of the Langer Heinrich Mine (LHM: 75% PDN, 25% CNNC). This valuation would be the first step in a process that could lead to CNNC exercising a first right option to acquire the remaining 75% of LHM. Importantly, it is yet to be determined whether CNNC has a valid right to exercise this option, which as Argonaut understands, would be invoked under certain solvency-related scenarios via the Joint Venture agreement.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
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), MZI Resources Ltd (MZI), Seafarms Group Ltd (SFG), Marindi Metals Ltd (MZN), Rift Valley Resources Ltd (RVY), 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)