Market Update & Important Indicators:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average turned slightly positive at the 4 p.m. close Friday, by fewer than five points, continuing its streak of record closes. The blue-chip index added 4 points to 20,624, marking its seventh straight close at a new high. The S&P 500 added 3.9 points, and the Nasdaq Composite added 24 points. For the week, the Dow industrials and S&P 500 recorded gains that exceeded 1%. Some investors said Friday's lacklustre performance marked a pause after signs of economic expansion, improving corporate profits and the potential for tax cuts and deregulation helped push stocks to multiple highs in recent sessions. Energy shares in the S&P 500 slipped as the price of U.S. crude oil edged down 0.5% to $53.47 a barrel. A record surplus of gasoline, brought on by a decline in U.S. consumption, is emerging as a threat to the yearlong rally in crude prices, some analysts said. Some investors said Friday that with stocks at records, questions remain about the prospects for policies such as increased government spending and corporate tax adjustments that have fuelled stocks' rally and prompted selling in government debt since the U.S. election.
European stocks ended slightly higher Friday, as the Stoxx Europe 600 inched up less than 0.1% to close at 370.22, leaving the index with a 0.8% gain for the week. On Thursday, the pan-European benchmark lost 0.4%, closing lower for the first time in eight sessions. Analysts have been sounding upbeat about European equities after the Stoxx 600 logged its highest close since December 2015 on Wednesday. "The broader uptrend is intact thanks to renewed optimism about the global growth outlook and supportive bottom-up corporate earnings," said Ian Williams, a Peel Hunt strategist, in a note Friday.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average ended down 0.6% Friday, dragged lower by financial and auto stocks. Shares of Toshiba also fell sharply amid continuing concerns about its financial health and the prospects of an effective removal from the Topix index. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.3% and the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9%. In Korea, Samsung Electronics shares fell on news that an arrest warrant was issued for Lee Jae-yong, the company's vice chairman and de facto leader, as part of a wider corruption scandal that saw the country's president impeached.
Weakness in mining and health-care stocks pulled the Australian market modestly lower Friday, taking the edge off what was otherwise another strong week as the pace of corporate earnings reports picked up. In only the second decline in the last nine sessions, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 10.5 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 5805.8. That still left it up 1.5% for the week, building on last week's 1.8% advance. The materials sector was one of the biggest drags for the day, as some of the biggest miners pared gains made this week, after the spot price for iron ore pulled back from its recent rally and copper eased.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed down 0.67% at $5,960/t. The other base metals were mainly lower on Friday. Aluminium prices fell 0.8% to $1,868/t, nickel prices fell 0.2% to $10,994/t, zinc prices dropped 1.7% to $2,803/t, and lead prices fell 0.9% at 2,239/t. Tin prices bucked the trend rising 0.1% at 19,676/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
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), Kin Mining (KIN), Vital Metals Ltd (VML), Mincor Resources (MCR), Dacian Gold (DCN), Leaf Resources Ltd (LER), Alchemy Resources Ltd (ALY), OpenDNA Limited (OPN), MZI Resources Ltd (MZI), Seafarms Group Ltd (SFG)