Market Update & Important Indicators
U.S. stocks rose Wednesday, with rising oil prices and corporate earnings driving some of the day's biggest moves. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 47 points, or 0.2%, to 21621. The S&P 500 climbed 0.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.7%, with both indexes advancing from Tuesday's records. Stocks seem to have shaken off the recent failure of Senate Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act. Many investors had previously considered the health-care bill's progress an indicator of the likelihood of Congress passing corporate-friendly policies later in the year. Shares of energy and health-care companies were among Wednesday's biggest gainers. U.S. crude oil climbed 1.6% after a U.S. government report showed sharp drawdowns in oil and fuel stockpiles, boosting energy stocks. The S&P 500 energy sector was the index's best performer, gaining 1%. Health-care stocks in the S&P 500 rose 0.7% and the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index added 1.2%. The S&P 500's information technology sector was on pace to close above its all-time high set back in March 2000 at the peak of the dot-com boom. Tech stocks added 0.6%, a day after streaming giant Netflix, technically a consumer stock that is often grouped with technology shares, blew through its quarterly subscriber growth estimate and had its best day of 2017. The U.S. gold price closed virtually unchanged, finishing at 1,241.00 US$/oz.
European stocks finished with solid gains Wednesday, carried by well-received corporate earnings reports including from Swedish appliance maker Electrolux, while a more than $4 billion deal drew Reckitt Benckiser Group shares higher. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.8% to end at 385.54, erasing most of the prior day's drop. The benchmark on Tuesday slid 1.1%, its worst session since June 29, after the euro marched up to a 14-month high.
Stocks were broadly higher in Asia-Pacific trading hours. Asian tech stocks continued to move higher, supported by the Nasdaq Composite's climb. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.4% in its best day since May while the Shenzhen Composite rose 1.9%, recovering from a rough start to the week. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average added 0.1% as investors were cautious ahead of the Bank of Japan's meeting on Thursday.
A rebound by the biggest banks drove the broader Australian equity market higher Wednesday, lifted by a relief rally after a revised capital target set by the prudential regulator proved less onerous than feared. After two straight days of losses, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 44.7 points, or 0.8%, to finish near the session high at 5732.1. The four largest banks collectively added about 45 points to the index, offsetting weakness mining and energy companies and in the telecommunications sector as Telstra retreated for a seventh straight session. The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority ordered the banks to lift their capital benchmarks, effectively forcing them to hold billions of dollars more as a buffer against the risk of future crises, but gave them until 2020 to reach the threshold.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract lost 0.7% overnight to close at $5,930/t. The other base metals finished mostly lower. Aluminium prices shed 0.6% to 1,894/t, nickel prices dropped 1.4% at 9,602/t, whilst tin prices gained 0.8% at 20,255/t. Zinc prices also fell for the day dropping 1.7% to 2,736/t with lead prices dropping 2.6% to 2,188/t.
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Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Dimerix Ltd (DXB), Metro Mining Ltd (MMI), Paringa Resources Ltd (PNL), Independence Group NL (IGO), MZI Resources Ltd (MZI), Transerv Energy Ltd (TSV), Emmerson Resources Ltd (ERM), Antipa Minerals Ltd (AZY), Echo Resources Ltd (EAR), Sovereign Metals Ltd (SVM), Calidus Resources Ltd (CAI), Great Boulder Resources Ltd (GBR), Finders Resources Ltd (FND), Bionomics Ltd (BNO), Threat Protect Australia Ltd (TPS), Ramelius Resources Ltd (RMS), Zenith Energy Ltd (ZEN), Blackham Resources Ltd (BLK), Top End Minerals Ltd (TND), Northern Star Resources Ltd (NST), Xanadu Mines Ltd (XAM)