Market Update & Important Indicators:
Declines in shares of financial companies pressured major U.S. stock indexes, even as a spike in oil prices sent shares of energy companies soaring. The financial sector of the S&P 500 lost 0.9% and was on course to snap a five-session winning streak. Pharmaceutical companies fell, dragging down the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index 0.7%. But energy shares rallied after a group of oil producers agreed to slash their output along with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to try to reduce a global oversupply of crude. The S&P 500's energy sector rose 0.4%. Bets on stronger U.S. growth and higher rates and inflation have driven U.S. stock markets to record highs since the U.S. election, while puncturing a multi-decade rally in government bonds. Major U.S. indexes closed Friday at record highs in their best week since the election. Investors widely expect the Federal Reserve to raise benchmark interest rates later this week.
In European markets, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5% after its highest close in nearly two years. Italy's FTSE MIB index rose 0.4% Monday following its best week of gains since 2011, after Italy's President Sergio Mattarella asked departing Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni to form a new government.
China's crackdown on stock purchases by insurance firms sent shares in Shanghai and Shenzhen sharply lower on Monday, while markets elsewhere in Asia pared early gains made on surging oil prices. The Shanghai Composite Index ended down 2.5%, the biggest one-day drop in percentage terms since June 13, with nearly 1,000 stocks in the red. The Shenzhen Composite Index ended 4.9% lower, the biggest daily drop since Feb. 29, while the startup-focused ChiNext board fell 5.5. Meanwhile, comments Sunday by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that there may be a change in the U.S.'s acceptance of the "one China" principle, a cornerstone policy that has helped maintain peace between China and Taiwan, also hurt investor sentiment, analysts said. But Mr. Trump's comments helped the Taiwan's Taiex set an 18-month high before closing 0.5% lower, dragged down by the slide in Chinese domestic stocks. Bucking the region's weakness, the Nikkei Stock Average held on to some of its morning gains, with the benchmark index ending up 0.8%.
Australian shares ended Monday steady despite a rally by energy stocks with a surge in crude-oil prices after the market let go of early gains. The market initially built on last week's strong advance before losing steam around midday and slipping briefly into the red. Still, the S&P/ASX 200 managed to finish at its highest level since the start of August–when the index hit its closing peak so far this year–edging up 2.2 points to 5562.8. The energy sector stood out, jumping 2.9% as Brent crude rose more than 4% in Asian trade to above US$56 a barrel following a weekend agreement by oil-producing nations to reduce production along with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Copper for delivery in three months was recently down 1% at $5,760/t on the London Metal Exchange. The other base metals were mixed overnight. Nickel prices fell 1.5% to 11,251/t, and aluminium prices fell 1.1% at $1,736/t. Meanwhile, Lead prices rose 1.4% to 2,341/t, tin prices rose 0.4% to 21,150/t and zinc prices rose 0.7% to 2,713/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
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) Dragontail Systems Ltd (DTS)