Market Update & Important Indicators
Rising financial shares pushed U.S. stock indexes higher Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%. The S&P 500 added less than 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.2%. Recent gains have lifted stocks in the U.S., the U.K., Japan and New Zealand to records. Data have suggested a pickup in global growth is under way, analysts said, helping stocks chug higher even as some investors have expressed concerns about the length of the rally. Shares of financial companies led U.S. stock indexes higher Monday after coming under pressure last week. Energy stocks rose with oil prices, while Corporate news drove swings in other sectors. The U.S. gold price traded lower overnight, falling 0.7% to finish at 1,294.50 US$/oz.
Stocks listed in Spain dropped Monday, weighing on the pan-European benchmark, after the central government in Madrid gave Catalonia's separatist leaders until Thursday to drop their push for independence. In Madrid, the IBEX 35 fell 0.8% to close at 10,181.40, falling for a third straight session. As the index extended its loss from the open, the broader Stoxx Europe 600 erased its gain to end flat at 391.41. Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has until 10 a.m. local time on Thursday to back away from his bid to make the region independent.
Stocks mostly rose in Asian trading with many indexes touching multiyear highs. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average added 0.5% in its 10th straight day of gains to close at another 21-year high, helped in part by the U.S. dollar's small gain against the yen in the morning, which lifted export and finance stocks. Local equities were also being supported by expectations Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government will comfortably win elections on Sunday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed at a 10-year high. Shares of Tencent hit an all-time high in intraday trading, while an improving Chinese economy is a positive catalyst for Hong Kong-listed stocks, especially in the financial sector. China's factory-gate prices reached a six-month high last month, official data showed Monday, with producer prices rising at a faster pace than economists had forecast, signalling China's economic resilience. China's central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said over the weekend that the world's second-largest economy may post 7% growth in the second half of the year, higher than the first half's 6.9%. The Shanghai Composite Index seesawed between losses and gains and ended down 0.4%.
Australian shares may be breaking out of a trading range that's held since May, with the S&P/ASX 200 closing at a 5-month high as the major banks added their support to a resource-driven push. Advancing for a 6th session in the last 7 and posting its first 4-day winning streak since June, the index rose 0.6% to 5846.8. Confirmation of a breakout would mean a test of the year's closing high of 5956.5, set May 1. Much of today's strength came from big miners amid rebounding iron-ore prices; BHP jumped 2.2% and Rio Tinto bounced 3.4%. Energy stocks also notched gains as oil futures in Asia today built on Friday's rebound.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded strongly higher overnight, jumping 3.7% to finish at $7,134/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Aluminium prices traded flat at 2,110/t, whilst tin prices dropped 0.3% to 20,675/t. Zinc prices lost 2.0% to 3,228/t. Lead prices gained 0.3% to 2,527/t, and Nickel prices traded higher again, closing 1.7% higher at 11,806/t.
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