Market Update & Important Indicators
Prices of U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday, with financial shares in the S&P 500 headed toward a fifth straight day of gains. The moves came after investors got a snapshot of earnings from some large U.S. banks, boosting a sector that remains the worst performer in the S&P 500 so far this year. Bank of America reported a fall in first-quarter profit on Thursday, hurt by declining trading revenue and low interest rates. Wells Fargo also said its first-quarter profit fell, as it dealt with a slump in oil prices. But both banks' results came in above analyst expectations. Even if first-quarter earnings continue to beat forecasts, some analysts say a weak outlook for global growth and relatively high valuations in the U.S. could make it hard for the market to move much higher from here.
European stocks eked out a small gain after a choppy trading session marred by a mixed bag of earnings and caution ahead of a key meeting of oil producers this weekend. The Stoxx Europe 600 index inched 0.3% higher to 343.99, closing at the highest level since March 14. Shares of Nestle helped prop up the pan-European benchmark, rising 2% after the food producer reported better-than-expected sales growth for the first three months of 2016.
The Nikkei Stock Average finished up 3.2%- its biggest daily jump since March 2. After a string of positive days, the benchmark is on track to mark its first weekly gain since the week ending March 25. Stocks rose in the rest of Asia, as well. Korea's Kospi rose 1.8%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 0.9%. China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5% after a choppy day of trading.
Australian stocks started the day strongly, taking their lead from solid gains on U.S. and European stock markets and Wednesday's strong Chinese exports data that supported commodities overnight, with iron ore and copper prices both rising. The local market extended its gains after domestic data showed Australia's jobless rate fell to a 2.5-year low in March as employment rose by a bigger-than-expected 26,100 jobs, snapping a three-month drought in jobs growth.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract was up 0.02% at $4,831 a metric ton at the PM kerb close. Among the other base metals, aluminum closed up 0.3% at $1,547.50 a ton, zinc was down 1.1% at $1,854 a ton, nickel was up 0.1% at $8,961 a ton, lead was down 2.5% at $1,712 a ton and tin was up 0.5% at $17,195 a ton.
Oil prices flopped late in Thursday's trading session after being largely unchanged most of the day with opinions divided about recent U.S. inventory data and this weekend's meeting between the world's big oil exporters.
In This Issue
Sandfire Resources (SFR) | Exploration intensifying| BUY
Market Cap $824.4m | Current Price $5.24 | Valuation $6.00
Sandfire Resources (SFR) released March Q results with 16.1kt Cu and 9.1koz Au, beating Argonaut’s forecast of 15.5kt Cu and 9.0kt Au. C1 costs for the Q were US$1.01/lb. SFR released a Maiden Resource for the Monty deposit (70% SFR:30% TLM) this week with 1.05Mt at 9.4% copper and 1.6g/t gold for 99kt contained copper and 55koz contained gold. Following the drill out of Monty, the Company is intensifying exploration in the Doolgunna region. At 31 March cash and debt were $45m and $70m respectively (vs $51m cash, $75m debt at December 31).
Recent Contacts & Presentations
Evolution Mining (EVN), St Barbara (SBM), Troy Resources (TRY), Explaurum (EXU), Sino Gas & Energy (SEH), Western Areas (WSA), Finders Resources (FND), Carnarvon Petroleum (CVN), Threat Protect Australia (TPS), Austal (ASB), Paragon Care (PGC), Salt Lake Potash (SO4), Peet (PPC), Department 13 (D13), Actinogen Medical (ACW)