Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks rose to fresh records, capping their best week since the presidential election. The gains extend a month-long rally for stocks as investors pour money into companies that benefit from stronger economic growth and fiscal stimulus. Financial company stocks, which have helped lead the postelection rise, pushed even higher during the week. Bank shares globally have benefited in recent weeks in anticipation of a wider difference between short- and long-dated government bonds, higher growth and a regulation rollback in the U.S. Financial companies in the S&P 500 are the best performers for the week, up about 4.8%. The sector is up more than 18% since the election. The S&P 500 ended the week up 3.1%, its biggest gain since the week ended Nov. 11 when the index rose 3.8. The next big catalyst for U.S. stocks, analysts say, is the Federal Reserve meeting next week. The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates, which bodes well for financial stocks, traders say.
In European markets the Euro Stoxx Banks Index fell 1.3% but remained on course to end the week up more than 11%. Italian banks rose 3.2% and are up 15% this week, despite concerns that Sunday's referendum result could derail plans for the most troubled lenders to raise capital. The Stoxx Europe 600 added 1% Friday, ending the week up 4.7% on expectations for more stimulus from the European Central Bank and a calm reaction to the Italian referendum.
Asian currencies were hit Friday by a perceived policy easing by the European Central Bank, even as stock-market reaction was mostly positive. Japan's Nikkei closed up 1.2% and Taiwan's Taiex was up 0.2%. The ECB said Thursday it would extend its bond-purchase program by nine months to the end of 2017, but cut its monthly purchases to €60 billion ($64 billion) from €80 billion, as of April. In Japan, the yen slid 0.3% against the dollar. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.4% after solid economic data was released Friday. China's producer price index rose 3.3% in November from a year earlier, flagging improved demand and pricing power for the country's industries. The reading from the National Bureau of Statistics for factory-gate prices beat economists' median forecast of a 2.4% increase. China's consumer price index increased 2.3% in November from a year earlier, edging above the median forecast for a 2.2% gain from a survey of economists by The Wall Street Journal.
Energy and financial stocks drove Australia's equities market higher Friday, lifted by an overnight rise in oil prices and the European Central Bank extended its support to weak Eurozone economies. Rising for a fourth straight day, the S&P/ASX 200 picked up 17 points, or 0.3%, to reach 5560.6–its highest finish since Aug. 24. For the week, the index gained 2.1% and is now 5% higher year-to-date. Stock markets across the region took some comfort from the ECB's decision to extend its quantitative easing program by nine months until at least the end of next year, but to reduce the value of securities it buys each month from April.
Copper for delivery in three months was recently up 0.8% at $5,826/t on the London Metal Exchange. All other base metals were up on Friday. Nickel prices rose 3.3% to $11,422/t, lead prices rose 1.7% to $2,309/t, tin prices rose 0.1% at 21,065/t, zinc prices rose 0.9% to 2,721/t and aluminium prices finished up 1.4% at 1,755/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Emerald Resources NL (EMR), Metals of Africa Ltd (MTA), Stavely Minerals Ltd (SVY), Australis Oil & Gas Ltd (ATS), Davenport Resources Ltd (DAV), TFS Corporation Limited (TFC), Emmerson Resources Ltd (ERM), Syntonic Ltd (SYT), MZI Resources Ltd (MZI), Resolute Mining Ltd (RSG), Capricorn Metals Ltd (CMM), 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)