Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks extended their rebound in a broad rally of 10 of the S&P 500's 11 sectors. Major stock indexes are on track for their best weekly performance since the presidential election, a sharp reversal following two of their worst weeks since early 2016. Many investors and analysts have pointed to strengthening fundamentals – such as corporate earnings and economic growth – as reasons for the rebound. But they also say they worry about stocks racing back to record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 307 points, or 1.2%, to 25,200. The S&P 500 also added 1.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.6%. The U.S. gold price also continued its strength overnight, rising 0.2% to 1,353.30 US$/oz.
European shares closed higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.5% at 376.51. French stocks outperformed, with the CAC 40 ending up 1.1% after data earlier showed France's unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since 2009 at the end of last year. A 10.3% surge in shares of Airbus also help lift French stocks after the company delivered a record 718 commercial planes in 2017, helping it generate a better-than-expected EUR2.95 billion in underlying free cash flow. For German and U.K. stocks, gains were more limited, however, as the euro and the pound gained ground against a weak dollar. The DAX closed up 0.1% and the FTSE 100 up 0.3%. Spain's IBEX 35 and Italy's FTSE MIB also both closed up 0.3%.
Strong overnight stock gains in the U.S. and Europe continued in Asia, though volumes in much of the region were capped by the coming Lunar New Year holiday. Chinese and South Korean markets are closed starting Thursday, joining Taiwan. Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia had only a half-day of trading. Singapore's benchmark rebounded 1.2% in the shortened session and Hong Kong stocks jumped 2%, with the Hang Seng Index's 5.4% rebound this week erasing half of last week's decline, its biggest fall in a decade. It was the Hang Seng's best week since April 2015, and traders said volume remained high even without mainland Chinese flows through the Stock Connect system that ties markets there with Hong Kong's. Some investors are likely closing short positions in the city's equities ahead of the holiday. Meanwhile, stocks in Japan rebounded despite fresh gains for the yen, which had sent the Nikkei Stock Average to four-month lows on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Resources-related stocks, buoyed by sharp overnight gains in commodities amid a sliding U.S. dollar, helped Australia's equities benchmark to have its best session since early July. Settling near the day's high, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.2% to 5909 in reversing a chunk of last week's sharp fall. Earnings reports continued to fly in, and more job growth in January offered a further tailwind for equities. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto each gained more than 4% on metals' pop, while oil companies rose at least 2%. Meanwhile, as Origin Energy jumped 6.9% after its fiscal first-half report, metals firm South32 sank 5.4% following its release.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded higher again overnight, jumping 0.27% to close at $7,182/t. Most of the other base metals also traded higher overnight. Nickel prices jumped 0.4% at 14,107/t, whilst tin prices rose 0.2% at 21,692/t. Zinc prices also traded higher, rising 0.1% to 3,595/t. Lead prices were the biggest base metal gainer overnight, rising 1.8% to finish at 2,630/t. Aluminium prices were the lone metal to fall, losing 0.5% at 2,164/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Myanmar Metals Ltd (MYL), Primary Gold Ltd (PGO), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH), Australis Oil & Gas Ltd (ATS), Explaurum Ltd (EXU), Whitebark Energy Ltd (WBE), Atrum Coal Ltd (ATU), Melbana Energy Ltd (MAY), Genesis Minerals Ltd (GMD), Proteomics International Laboratories Ltd (PIQ), Ramelius Resources Ltd (RMS), 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)