Market Update & Important Indicators
U.S. markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, although S&P 500 futures were up 0.2% and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 0.5%. Major U.S. stock indexes closed at record highs on Friday as big banks kicked off the start of the fourth quarter earnings season there, and the Dow industrials posted their first back-to-back 500-point weekly gains since 2000. Oil prices started the week slightly lower Monday, pressured by a rising U.S. rig count, even as the price of crude continues to hover near record three-year highs. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 0.2% at $69.73 a barrel, on London's Intercontinental Exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 0.1%, at $64.24 a barrel. The U.S. gold price traded higher overnight, adding 0.2% to close at 1,339.50 US$/oz.
European stocks started the week with losses as the dollar continued its steep descent against a basket of global currencies. The Stoxx Europe 600 – which generates 18% of its revenues from the U.S., according to FactSet – edged down 0.2%. European companies that make a high proportion of sales in the U.S. tend to suffer when the euro and British pound strengthen against the dollar, since it means revenues are worth less when translated back. In the UK, the FTSE 100 index fell 0.1% from a record closing high on Monday.
In Asia, Hong Kong's stock benchmark fell 0.2% in late trading, ending its 14-day winning streak with its first loss of the year. The Shanghai Composite, which had risen some record 11-straight days, fell 0.5% and the startup-heavy ChiNext skidded 3% after Friday data showed a big end-of-year deceleration in loan growth, and China's broadest measure of money-supply posted another record-low increase. In Japan, a climb in the financial sector helped the Nikkei rise 0.3%, even as the yen hit a four-month high against the dollar.
The big miners helped keep Australia's equity market in the green today after the S&P/ASX 200 sagged from early strength as its neighbor in the New Zealand, which ended lower. Inching up for a 2nd-straight session, the index rose 0.1% to 6077.1 as energy, tech and telecom shares weighed. But BHP and Rio Tinto both managed fresh multiyear highs, rising 1.2% and 1.5%, respectively. South32 climbed 2.6% and Newcrest—amid strength among gold producers–gained 2.9%. And while telecom stocks were lower overall, Vocus rose 0.9% after adopting a new operating structure aimed at taking opportunities in the enterprise and wholesale segments.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded higher overnight, gaining 1.4% to finish at $7,210/t. The other base metals also finished stronger. Aluminium prices jumped 0.6% to close at 2,217/t, whilst Lead prices bounced 1.5% to close at 2,583/t. Zinc prices added 1.0% to close at 3,470/t, whilst Tin prices closed 0.1% higher at 20,330/t. Nickel prices posted a gain of 1.0%, closing at 12,807/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations
MOD Resources Ltd (MOD), Greenland Minerals & Energy Ltd (GGG), Walkabout Resources Ltd (WKT), Marindi Metals Ltd (MZN), Volt Power Group Ltd (VPR), PharmAust Ltd (PAA), Alice Queen Ltd (AQX), Jervois Mining Ltd (JRV), St George Mining Ltd (SGQ), Overland Resources Ltd (OVR), Metro Mining Ltd (MMI), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Xanadu Mines Ltd (XAM), Orthocell Ltd (OCC), Whitebark Energy Ltd (WBE), 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)