Market Update & Important Indicators:
European shares pared losses to rise 0.1% as Swiss chemical group Sika and oil services company John Wood Group made gains. The Stoxx Europe 600 advanced 0.1% to 392.4 as Sika lifted 8.1% after signing an agreement with French building material supplier Saint-Gobain to end a takeover battle. Wood gained 10% after upbeat first-quarter trading. Retailer H&M Hennes & Mauritz was the biggest pan-European faller, down 4%.
Japan's Nikkei rose 1.2%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1%. Malaysian markets remain closed until Monday after a surprise opposition win in elections. But Ample Capital's Mr. Wong added that it is too early to make the call that the market has turned a corner, as many investors are remaining on the sidelines while the U.S.-China trade spat continues. Equities in mainland China bucked the trend in Asia, with the Shenzhen A-Share Index falling 1%. Not all analysts saw the weaker inflation figures as a reason to change their views on the Federal Reserve's pace of interest-rate increases. Used car sales were a major contributor to the fall in consumer price growth.
Aussie stocks slowly faded throughout the afternoon, resulting in the benchmark joining China as the only Asia-Pacific markets lower today. The S&P/ASX 200, though, still racked up a 6th-straight weekly gain–the strongest run in 2 years–at 0.9%. But further weakness in the major banks and a pause for the hot energy sector left the index down 2.5 points for the day at 6116.20. AMP was again one of the biggest drags, losing a further 5.8% to near-7-year lows after it confirmed yesterday it faced 2 class-action lawsuits. It was the stock's 2nd 10% weekly drop in a month. Meanwhile, miners were a bright spot today with BHP and Rio Tinto each gaining more than 1% following dollar-driven overnight gains in metals prices.
Base metals were mainly up on the London Metal Exchange. The 3-month copper contract gained 0.4% to 6,909/t. zinc declined 0.3% to 3,064/t, and lead finished 1.8% higher at 2,333/t. Nickel appreciated 1.3% to 13,995/t while tin was up 0.8% to finish at 21,038/t. Aluminium recorded the largest fall of 2.2%% to close at 2,330/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations
Nexus Minerals (NXM), Great Boulder Resources (GBR), Orthocell (OCC), Northern Minerals (NTU), ABM Resources Ltd (ABU), Vital Metals Ltd (VML), Todd River Resources Ltd (TRT), Pacific Energy Ltd (PEA), Carnarvon Petroleum Ltd (CVN), Australian Mines Ltd (AUZ), Australian Finance Group (AFG), Paladin Energy Ltd (PDN), Cooper Energy Ltd (COE), Medibio Ltd (MEB), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Salt Lake Potash Ltd (SO4), Golden Mile Resources Ltd (G88), NTM Gold Ltd (NTM), Ausmex Mining Group Ltd (AMG), Matrix C&E Ltd (MCE), Austal Ltd (ASB), Decmil Group Ltd (DCG), Ventnor Resources Ltd, Ausdrill Ltd (ASL), Alice Queen Ltd (AQX), PNX Metals Ltd (PNX), Alliance Resources Ltd (AGS), Myanmar Metals Ltd (MYL), Primary Gold Ltd (PGO), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH)