Market Update & Important Indicators
U.S. stocks bounced Friday but notched weekly losses, after a shaky stretch of trading renewed many investors' fears over the course of trade policy. Stocks struggled for traction throughout the week as investors weighed fresh rebukes to the Trump administration's protectionist trade agenda. Investors dumped shares of materials and industrial companies, which some fear could suffer if U.S. tariffs drive up costs for manufacturers. Bank shares also slid earlier in the week, hurt by a strengthening of U.S. government bonds that drove yields lower. With investors facing a relatively quiet period in between earnings seasons, many say it isn't surprising that trade jitters and reshuffling in the White House appear to be weighing on the market. Still, even as stocks have lost some momentum in recent sessions, analysts maintain that the earnings outlook for U.S. companies looks solid. Data have also pointed to a strong labour market, still-subdued inflation and a ramp-up in production at U.S. factories, reassuring investors that the economy remains on strong footing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 72.85 points, or 0.3%, to 24946.51, but fell 1.5% for the week. The S&P 500 advanced 4.68 points, or 0.2%, to 2752.01 and posted a 1.2% weekly decline, while the Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.25 point, or less than 0.1%, to 7481.99 and fell 1% for the week. Stock gains were broad Friday, helping some of the worst-performing sectors of the week recoup their losses. The U.S. gold price traded slightly lower overnight, finishing down 0.2% at 1313.60 US$/oz.
European stocks closed higher Friday, with the Stoxx Europe 600 ending up 0.2% at 377.71, as U.S. stocks gained, the euro fells and data showed eurozone inflation was revised down. Germany's DAX rose 0.4%, France's CAC 40 by 0.3%, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.3%. Italy and Spain outperformed: the FTSE MIB closed up 0.6%, the IBEX 35 up 0.8%.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed down 0.6%, driven lower by the further appreciation of the yen. The U.S. dollar fell 0.6% to Yen105.6, leaving it near a 16-month low against the Japanese currency, as the reappointment of Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda was also confirmed by the Japanese parliament. Stocks in Hong Kong and China also fell, with a 0.3% decline in the Hang Seng Index and a 0.6% drop in China's Shenzhen A Share index.
Australian stocks were a noted outperformer today amid fresh regional declines, with the S&P/ASX 200 snapping a 3-day losing streak on broad gains outside the finance sector. The index rose 0.5% to 5949.4, but it still fell 0.2% for the week. Conglomerate Wesfarmers jumped 6.3% after saying it will spin off its Coles grocery business while mining were strong. Best-performing was South32, which bounced 5.6% as Credit Suisse dropped its bear call on the shares after their 20% slide from late January. But the country's major banks fell further as a judicial inquiry into the financial sector continues.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded lower overnight, falling 0.4% to close at $6,888/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Tin prices closed 0.1% lower at 21,079/t, whilst Zinc prices added 0.9% to close at 3,264/t. Aluminium prices closed flat at 2,064/t. Lead prices pulled back, retreating 1.3% to 2,384/t, whilst Nickel prices fell by 0.1% to finish at 13,569/t.
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Paladin Energy Ltd (PDN), Cooper Energy Ltd (COE), Medibio Ltd (MEB), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Salt Lake Potash Ltd (SO4), Golden Mile Resources Ltd (G88), NTM Gold Ltd (NTM), Ausmex Mining Group Ltd (AMG), Matrix C&E Ltd (MCE), Austal Ltd (ASB), Decmil Group Ltd (DCG), Ventnor Resources Ltd, Ausdrill Ltd (ASL), Alice Queen Ltd (AQX), PNX Metals Ltd (PNX), Alliance Resources Ltd (AGS), 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)