Market Update & Important Indicators
Retailers tumbled after another round of earnings disappointed investors and shares of financial companies gained, leaving major U.S. stock indexes little changed intraday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21995. The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite declined around 0.1%. Consumer-discretionary shares in the S&P 500 slid after several large retailers reported quarterly results. Shares of brick-and-mortar retailers have taken a beating this year as increased competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon.com have cut into profits. The U.S. gold price lost ground again overnight, falling 0.8% to finish at 1,271.10 US$/oz.
European stocks continued to rise, with investors encouraged by North Korea's decision not to follow through with its threat to attack U.S. island territory Guam following a war of words between the two nations. The Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.1% to close at 376.50, adding to a 1.1% jump from Monday. The positive trading mood has been spurred by receding fears that the U.S. and North Korea are heading toward a nuclear war. U.S. officials over the weekend played down the threat of a military conflict, saying they instead were seeking diplomatic solutions with the isolated nation. Further easing tensions, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un decided not to launch a threatened missile attack on Guam. The leader, however, warned that he could change his mind "if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions." Germany's DAX 30 index rose 0.1% to 12,177.04, while France's CAC 40 index ended up 0.4% at 5,140.25. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index climbed 0.4% to 7,383.85.
In Asian markets, South Korean markets were closed for Independence Day and Japan's Nikkei led the gains in Asia with a 1.4% rise after a 1% drop on Monday. Tokyo stocks were also boosted by a pullback in the yen as the dollar moved back above the psychologically important Y110 level. In Taiwan, the headline Taiex index was up 1%, after having lost as much Monday, lifted by major tech companies which were seeing gains in excess of 1%. Elsewhere, Thai shares ended higher amid broad buying bias in the region. The benchmark index closed up 0.4% at 1567.19 as trading resumed this week after the Monday holiday.
Australian shares, like others in the region, built on Monday's gains as geopolitical tensions eased for the moment. But stocks eased within the last two hours of trading, resulting in the S&P/ASX 200 finishing up 0.5% at 5757.5. Still, combined with Thursday's climb, the index erased all but three points of a selloff. Earnings were in focus, and ANZ led the major banks with a 1.3% rise after recording a decline in bad debts. Meanwhile, Challenger sank 3.9% following the investment manager's fiscal year report, which also came with a deal to expand in Japan and sell a minority stake to MS&AD Insurance. And Domino's Pizza Enterprises saw its biggest-ever decline in 19% after its fiscal year miss. Only the materials and energy sectors lost ground.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed marginally lower overnight, dropping 0.3% to $6,379/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Aluminium prices gained 1.3% to 2,054/t, whilst lead prices added 2% to 2,362/t. Tin prices pared back 1% to 20,250/t, whilst zinc prices jumped 1.5% to 2,946/t. Nickel prices were again weaker, falling 1.0% to finish at 10,299/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations
New Century Zinc Ltd (NCZ), Metal Bank Ltd (MBK), Rift Valley Resources Ltd (RVY), Panoramic Resources Ltd (PAN), Doray Minerals Ltd (DRM), Wellard Limited (WLD), Bryah Resources Ltd (BYH), Auris Minerals Ltd (AUR), Gage Roads Brewing Co Ltd (GRB), Stavely Minerals Ltd (SVY), Orbital Corporation Ltd (OEC), 4DS Memory Ltd (4DS), Kin Mining NL (KIN), Pharmaust Limited (PAA), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Dimerix Ltd (DXB), Metro Mining Ltd (MMI), Paringa Resources Ltd (PNL), Independence Group NL (IGO), MZI Resources Ltd (MZI), Transerv Energy Ltd (TSV), Emmerson Resources Ltd (ERM), Antipa Minerals Ltd (AZY), Echo Resources Ltd (EAR), Sovereign Metals Ltd (SVM)