Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks and government bond yields slid intraday as investors piled into haven assets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7 points to 20,651, with shares of financial and technology companies posting among the biggest losses. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.4%. Stocks have wavered in recent sessions after posting a series of records in early March. The big gainer for the day was the U.S. gold price which jumped 1.6% to 1,274 US$/oz. Details on potential U.S. policy changes like tax reform and infrastructure spending remain scarce, analysts said, giving investors few reasons to place fresh bets on the so-called Trump trade that initially lifted shares of financial and industrial companies while putting pressure on government bonds. Geopolitical developments across the globe contributed to the risk-off mood, analysts said, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made his first official trip to Moscow and South Korean officials sought to tamp down concerns over the possibility of a pre-emptive U.S. military strike on North Korea.
European stocks closed mostly lower, with lingering worries about the crisis in Syria and the hotly contested French election creating a cloud over sentiment. The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended down 0.02% at 381.18, paring earlier losses. France's CAC 40 ended 0.1% lower at 5,101.86, while Germany's DAX 30 index shed 0.5% to 12,139.35. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index, however, rose 0.2% to 7,365.50, boosted by the benchmark's gold miners. Foreign ministers from the Group of 7 industrialized nations were gathering for a second day of talks on Syria, after the U.S. airstrikes on a Syrian air base on Friday.
Asian equities were dragged down by concerns about rising military tension in the Korean Peninsula, as well as fears of a liquidity squeeze in Chinese markets. The Japanese yen, a traditional haven for investors, gained 0.3% against the U.S. dollar and is now up almost 6% since the start of the year. The Japanese Nikkei 225 index, made up by multinational stocks that suffer from a stronger yen, was down 0.3%. Korea's Kospi stock index was down 0.6%, as tensions continue to build up between North Korea and the U.S. because of Kim Jong Un's nuclear weapons program. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the morning session down 0.9%, with a subindex tracking Chinese shares listed in the city dropping to its lowest level in nearly a month. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5% while the Shenzhen Composite Index lost 0.6%.
Another day of gains by the big banks helped lift Australian shares nearer to a two-year high. The major lenders continued to make up ground lost last week after local regulators reacted to concerns about the pace of lending to speculative home buyers that has helped drive up home prices in major cities even as household debt has continued to build, prompted fresh measures to tighten mortgage lending. Rising for a third session running, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 16.4 points, or 0.3%, to 5929.3 — its highest close since late April 2015. The four largest banks, which are among the largest stocks in the market, collectively added 12 points to the index.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed up 0.35% at $5,767/t. All other base metals finished lower on Tuesday. Zinc prices fell 1.7% at 2,546/t, aluminium prices fell 0.3% at 1,905/t, nickel prices fell 3.3% at 9,783/t, lead prices fell 0.3% to 2,249/t, whilst tin prices fell 1.3% at 20,023/t.
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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), Hazer Group Ltd (HZR), Transerv Energy Ltd (TSV), Ausquest Ltd (AQD), Quintis Ltd (QIN)
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