Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks were little changed Thursday as investors assessed the interest-rate outlook after receiving mixed signals from the Federal Reserve. Minutes from the Fed's latest meeting, released Wednesday, offered little guidance for investors who had been expecting a clearer message on the path of interest rates from the central bank. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen is scheduled to give a speech next week at the central bank's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo. U.S. stocks have notched all-time highs in recent weeks, while European stocks have staged a steep recovery from their post-Brexit lows. Even with those highs, "people are not feeling as good as you might think they'd feel," said Seth Masters, chief investment officer at AllianceBernstein's wealth-management arm, pointing to deteriorating measures of investor sentiment.
European's main stock benchmark closed with gains for the first time in five sessions on Thursday, with resource companies helping to lead the charge higher on bets the U.S. Federal Reserve won't raise rates this year. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.7% to end at 342.91.
Shares in Asia were mixed Thursday, with some regional currencies firmer against the weaker dollar, while China's plans to further open its equities market gave a delayed boost to Hong Kong stocks. The Nikkei Stock Average closed down 1.6% amid the yen's recent strength. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 1%, hitting a fresh nine-month high. Seoul's Kospi added 0.6% by the session's end, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.2%. Shares of key Japanese auto makers were dented on concerns about the yen, which typically makes exports more expensive when it strengthens. In Hong Kong, the city's share market had a belatedly positive reaction to China's confirmation that the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program will proceed later this year. In mainland China, shares were a tad lower as Beijing signalled that its crackdown on speculative trading continues.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended down 0.5% as the Aussie dollar strengthened following stronger-than-expected jobs data. Australia's labour market figures for July showed 26,200 jobs were added in the month and the jobless rate fell to 5.7%. Economists had expected a 10,000 increase in jobs and a 5.8% jobless rate. Forward-looking indicators suggest the labour market should continue to remain healthy, Capital Economics said in a note. The Australian currency strengthened as a result, hurting local stocks.
Copper prices rose Thursday, buoyed by a weaker dollar after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve showed officials were divided on the timing of the next interest-rate increase. The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract settled up 0.7% at $4,809/t at the PM kerb close. Other base metals settled higher in London trading. Aluminium fell 0.8% at 1,670/t, nickel gained 1.3% at $10,301/t, zinc rose 1.1% to $2,294/t, lead increased 0.8% to $1,884/t, and tin added 0.3% to $18,420/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Dacian Gold (DCN), Pilbara Minerals (PLS), Independence Group (IGO), Rio Tinto (RIO), Silver Lake Resources (SLR), Lynas Corporation (LYC), Evolution Mining (EVN), Regis Resources (RRL), Xanadu Mines (XAM), Mincor Resources NL (MCR) , Carbine Resources Ltd (CRB), Antipa Minerals (AZY), Energia Minerals Ltd (EMX), Pantoro Limited (PNR), Boss Resources Ltd (BOE), Metro Mining Ltd (MMI), Metal Bank Ltd (MBK), Actinogen Medical (ACW), St. George Mining Ltd (SGQ), Resapp Health Ltd (RAP), Orecorp Limited (ORR), Dimerix Limited (DXB), Genesis Minerals Ltd (GMD), Dakota Minerals Ltd (DKO), Breaker Resources NL (BRB), Bard1 Life Sciences Ltd (BD1), Alto Metals Ltd (AME), Birimian Limited (BGS)