Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks slipped Monday as investors prepared for a busy week set to include a meeting of the Federal Reserve and key political tests in Europe. The Fed is widely expected to raise borrowing costs Wednesday for the first time this year, with Fed-fund futures tracked by CME Group pointing to a roughly 95% chance of a rate rise. Analysts said they would be focused on signals from the Fed on how aggressively it would move to hike rates later this year. "It's the calm before the storm," said David Lafferty, chief market strategist at Natixis Global Asset Management. "The market is still coalesced around three tightening’s this year, but there's certainly room for four," he said. Healthcare was the worst-performing sector of the S&P 500, slipping 0.4% as investors awaited the release of a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Republican bill to replace Obamacare. The U.S. gold price was also slightly lower for the day finishing down 0.1% at 1,203.70US$/oz.
European stocks climbed in volatile trade Monday, but with investors trading cautiously ahead of potentially market-moving events this week, including the Dutch election, the U.K.'s Brexit bill vote and a U.S. interest-rate decision. The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed 0.4% higher at 374.64, marking its highest settlement since March 3, according to FactSet data. It was its fourth straight session of gains.
Stocks in Asia inched higher Monday at the start of a week that will include key central bank meetings, political tests in Europe and a gathering of global finance chiefs. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 1.1%, with shares of HSBC Holdings advancing after the global bank said AIA Group Chief Executive Mark Tucker would become chairman on Oct. 1. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.2% as the yen weakened against the dollar and oil consumers such as chemicals companies and airlines benefited from lower prices. South Korea's Kospi rose 1% as markets continued to rally after scandal-plagued President Park Geun-hye was removed from office on Friday.
Energy stocks led Australian shares lower on Monday, as U.S. crude oil prices slipped below US$48 a barrel for the first time this year. The S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.3% or 18.3 points at 5757.3 with investors also following a cautious line ahead of a meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve later this week that's widely expected to raise interest-rates. Morgan Stanley said oil prices could remain under pressure in the near term if U.S. drilling activity continues to intensify and gasoline demand remains weak. However, the bank thinks oil inventories will ultimately be whittled down during the summer driving season in the U.S. and prices will finish the year at a higher level than they started.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed up 1.12% at $5,796/t. All other base metals were mostly higher on Monday. Lead prices rose 0.3% at 2,265/t, tin prices rose 0.8% at 19,525/t, zinc prices rose 1.4% at 2,725/t, and nickel prices rose 2.8% at 10,114. Aluminium prices bucked the trend, falling 0.1% at 1,866/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
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), Creso Pharma Limited (CPH)