Market Update & Important Indicators:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped Friday, notching its first weekly decline since September. Investors' concerns about the status of a U.S. tax overhaul weighed on stocks during the week, though Friday's moves were relatively muted. The Dow industrials lost 39.73 points, or 0.2%, to 23422 on Friday. The S&P 500 fell 2.32 points, or 0.1%, to 2582.30 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.89 point, or less than 0.1%, to 6750.94. All three indexes posted weekly declines, though the losses were relatively modest. Solid corporate earnings have helped U.S. stocks rise this year, analysts say, even as the timing and scale of policy changes in Washington have remained uncertain. With roughly 91% of S&P 500 companies having reported results, firms are on track to post another quarter of earnings growth, according to FactSet. On Friday, shares of energy companies fell with oil prices, pressuring major stock indexes. The S&P 500 energy sector lost 0.8% on the day but notched a weekly gain as U.S. crude oil ended the week at $56.74 a barrel — its fifth highest level of the year. Consumer-staples shares jumped 1% in the S&P 500, finishing the day as the best-performing sector in the broad index. The U.S. gold price fell Friday, shedding 0.7% to finish at 1,274.9 US$/oz.
European stocks fell Friday, marking their worst weekly drop in three months by rounding it off with a disappointing outlook from Cartier parent Richemont and lingering concerns about tax-cut legislation in the U.S. The Stoxx Europe 600 shed 0.4% to end at 388.69, the lowest close since Oct. 25, according to FactSet data. Only the financial sector finished higher. On Thursday, the index dropped 1.1%, the biggest one-day percentage loss since June 29. The index closed this week down by 1.8%, the sharpest percentage loss since the week ended Aug. 11. Germany's DAX 30 index fell 0.4% to 13,127.47, and France's CAC 40 gave up 0.5% at 5,380.72. The indexes this week declined 2.6% and 2.5%, respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gave up 0.7% to end at 7,432.99, and Spain's IBEX 35 fell 0.5% to 10,992.70. Those gauges closed the week down by 1.7% and 2.6, Novrespectively.
Stock indexes in Asia ended mostly down Friday. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average led regional declines with a 0.8% fall as teach-heavy markets extended Thursday's losses, after technology giant Qualcomm signed significant but preliminary deals with three Chinese companies to supply components. The tie-ups fuelled fears that other companies in the region that rely on the U.S. firm's patents to develop and make chips would be at a disadvantage. Elsewhere in Asia, Korea's Kospi was down 0.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended up 0.1%.
Australian shares reeled in some of the week's gains as resources companies led broad selling, though the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 stayed above the 6000 mark that was breached for the 1st time since early 2008. Taking its lead from Wall Street's overnight retreat, the Aussie index settled 0.3% lower Friday at 6029.4 to narrow the week's advance to 1.2%. Erasing the previous sessions gains, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto fell at least 2% as iron ore pulled back. Energy stocks also weakened following a drop in oil futures.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded lower Friday, falling 0.3% to finish at $6,786/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Aluminium prices rose 0.4% to 2,085/t, whilst lead prices increased by 0.1% to 2,514/t. Zinc prices lead the base metals, rising 1.2% to 3,267/t. Falling for the day, nickel prices shed 1.6% at 12,056/t. Tin prices remained steady at 19,520/t.
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Atrum Coal Ltd (ATU), Minotaur Exploration Ltd (MEP), Panoramic Resources Ltd (PAN), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH), Great Boulder Resources Ltd (GBR), Metallum Ltd (MNE), Gold Road Resources Ltd (GOR), Apollo Consolidated Ltd (AOP), De Grey Mining Ltd (DEG), Triton Minerals Ltd (TON), Evolution Mining Ltd (EVN), Silver Mines Ltd (SVL), NTM Gold Ltd (NTM), Gascoyne Resources Ltd (GCY), Southern Cross Electrical Ltd (SXE), MOD Resources Ltd (MOD), Meteoric Resources NL (MEI), Emmerson Resources Ltd (ERM), Gage Roads Brewing Ltd (GRB), Otto Energy Ltd (OEL), Whitebark Energy Ltd (WBE)
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