Market Update & Important Indicators
U.S. stock rose Wednesday, propelling the Russell 2000 into record territory. Energy stocks in the S&P 500 rose 2.4%, notching the biggest sector gain as the price of oil continued to rise. Investors continued to focus on first-quarter earnings. Expectations were slashed going into the reporting season as companies contended with the strong dollar and low oil prices in the period. Including results from 37 companies, S&P 500 earnings are expected to fall 5% from a year ago, according to FactSet.The Stoxx Europe 600 continued to rally as it had done earlier in the day, finishing the session a shade below its all-time high. In a news conference interrupted by a protester, President Mario Draghi repeated that the ECB intends to buy EUR60 billion ($64 billion) of bonds a month until September 2016 – as announced in January – and restrict purchases to assets that yield more than the ECB's deposit rate of minus 0.2%.
Stocks in Shanghai fell Wednesday after data showed China's economy growing at its slowest pace in six years, with selling spilling over into Japan and Australia while the prospect of further stimulus from Beijing helped buoy Hong Kong. The Shanghai Composite Index was down 1.2% at 4084.16. But Chinese firms trading in Hong Kong were up 1.5%, leading the Hang Seng Index higher by 0.2% to 27618.82. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average finished down 0.2% at 19869.76 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.6% to 5908.40. The worst-performing was China's smaller mainland market, the Shenzhen stock exchange, with the Shenzhen A Share benchmark falling 3.7% to 2197.56.
Copper futures closed up on the London Metal Exchange Wednesday, but hit an almost four-week low during the session on poor economic data out of China. Brent crude gained 5.9% to US$63.32/bbl. Gold is trading at US$1,202.9/oz, up 0.8%.
In This Issue
Western Areas (WSA) | BUY
Western Areas (WSA) released March Q results with Forrestania production of 6.2kt Ni in concentrate at $3.22/lb (applying 72% payability) vs Argonaut forecast of 6.4kt at $3.20/lb. Production was down 4% and costs up 4% Q-on-Q due to a planned outage on the Cosmic Boy mill. The Company added $15.4m cash and is well positioned to repay the $125m convertible bonds (CB) maturing July 2015 with $66m net cash.
Recent Contacts & Presentations
Saracen (SAR), Beadell (BDR), Fertoz (FTZ), Atrum (ATU), Doray (DRM), Austal (ASB), TFS Corporation (TFC), Buru Energy (BRU), Carnarvon Energy (CVN), Otto Energy (OEL), Empire Oil & Gas (EGO), Pura Vida Energy NL (PVD), Migme (MIG), Vmoto (VMT), Pioneer Credit (PNC), Minemakers (MAK)