Market Update & Important Indicators:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell Thursday, putting it on track to close in negative territory for the year. The stock-market rally sparked by the election of Donald Trump has slowed in 2017. The Dow industrials are on pace to fall for a fifth straight session, and the blue-chip index is now down 0.2% year-to-date. Some investors say they see few reasons for stocks to push much higher until after Mr. Trump's inauguration Friday, at which point the focus will turn to what policies his administration can push through Congress. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was recently down 93 points, or 0.5%, to 19711. The S&P 500 lost 0.4% Thursday and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3% as a decline in bank shares weighed down major stock indexes. The day's moves pushed financial shares further into the red for the year — a reversal from the end of 2016.
Europe's main stock gauge closed slightly lower, after gains sparked by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's remarks failed to stick. The ECB chief struck a markedly dovish tone, emphasizing downside risks to the inflation outlook and reiterating that the bank's bond buying program can be extended or expanded, if needed. The Stoxx Europe 600 index finished down less than 0.1% at 362.85. The pan-European benchmark had risen in afternoon action to around 364, after trading as low as 361.66 ahead of the ECB event.
Asian stocks on Thursday mostly ended near Wednesday's closing levels ahead of President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, but Japanese equities jumped amid a rebounding dollar. That after overnight comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen that were interpreted hawkishly by the market. She suggested that steady interest-rate hikes are anticipated the next several years, with her comments coming hours after the release of the strongest on year December U.S. consumer inflation in 2.5 years. Among Asian currencies, the yen took the biggest hit overnight. A traditional safe-haven asset, the currency fell more than a full yen against the dollar amid Ms. Yellen's comments and approached 115 yen. The dollar was recently around Y114.85. Across the region, Asian stocks largely started Thursday in the red and have remained there, with the Hang Seng among the decliners, ending down 0.2%. Korea's Kospi opened at a 2017 high, seesawing between gains and losses before ending up 0.1%. Major indexes in Taiwan and China also finished slightly from Wednesday's finishes.
A late jump helped Australian shares finish modestly higher Thursday after two days of declines, buoyed by gains in mining and healthcare stocks. Investors across the region have grown cautious in recent days ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on Friday, pulling back on some of the stocks that had been bought aggressively after his election on expectations a new administration would lead to increased investment, higher growth and inflation. The S&P/ASX 200 added 13.4 points, or 0.2%, to end at 5692.2. Holding the broader market back, financial stocks were again weak and energy companies fell following a nearly 3% drop in crude-oil prices on Wednesday on worries over rising U.S. shale output.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract was down 0.5% at $5,740/t. All other base metals were down on Thursday. Aluminium prices fell 0.3% to $1,834/t, lead prices fell 0.4% to $2,297/t, tin prices fell 1.7% to $20,735/t, nickel prices fell 2.5% to $9,874/t and zinc prices fell 0.2% to 2,753/t.
Thought of the day:
Small caps results preview | Micro & spec stock review
We preview the interim results for small cap stocks under coverage, highlighting a mix of growth and value. Stocks discussed include ASB, GCS, PGC, PPC, TFC and TOX. We are also expecting considerable newsflow from the micro and spec stocks we have under coverage, and comment on CLX, GRB, OBJ, OEC, OCC, TPS and VLT. This follows our mining services (ASL, GNG, MCE and PEA) interims preview released last week.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Syntonic Ltd (SYT), MZI Resources Ltd (MZI), Resolute Mining Ltd (RSG), Capricorn Metals Ltd (CMM), Eve Investments Ltd (EVE), Australian Mines Ltd (AUZ), Heron Resources Ltd (HRR), St George Mining Ltd (SGQ), Threat Protect Australia Ltd (TPS), Paringa Resources Ltd (PNL), The Gruden Group Ltd (GGL), Primary Gold Ltd (PGO), Vault Intelligence Ltd (VLT), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT) Orthocell Ltd (OCC), Strandline Resources Ltd (STA) Dragontail Systems Ltd (DTS), ABM Resources Ltd (ABU), Acacia Coal Ltd (AJC), Troy Resources Ltd (TRY), Hazer Group Ltd (HZR), Berkeley Energia Ltd (BKY), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH), Sovereign Metals Ltd (SVM)