Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stock indexes swung between slight gains and losses Monday, as shares of banks and energy companies climbed and telecommunications stocks fell. Shares of mining and oil-and-gas companies moved higher as U.S. crude oil rose on news that military conflicts in Libya had affected the country's oil exports. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries had this weekend damped expectations for an agreement to limit crude-oil output, with Mohammed Barkindo, the secretary-general of the cartel, saying late Saturday that no decision would be made at informal talks among its members in Algeria next week. U.S. crude prices fell more than 6% last week, and energy shares in the S&P 500 lost 2.9% – their biggest weekly fall since May. The sector rose 0.4% Monday. Few expect the Fed to raise rates in September, but investors will watch the bank's press conference and forecasts carefully for hints at what might happen at its meeting in December. Federal funds futures, used to place bets on central-bank policy, showed Monday that investors and traders see a 12% chance of an interest-rate increase this week, according to CME Group. In European markets, gains in energy shares helped the Stoxx Europe 600 climb 1%.
Asian shares traded mostly higher on Monday, as fears receded that the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates this week. Korea's Kospi index gained 0.8%., Japanese markets were shut for a holiday. The Fed and the Bank of Japan will meet this week, and consensus is building that the central banks will unveil policies that are, at worst, neutral for markets. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 0.9%. Property stocks gained after an official survey on Monday showed that average housing prices in China rose 7.5% in August from a year earlier, accelerating from a 6.3% on-year increase in July. The cost for banks in Hong Kong to borrow yuan from each other overnight jumped to 23.68% from 7.95% on Thursday. It was the highest level since January, when that short-term borrowing rate surged above 66%, making it nearly impossible for investors to bet against the offshore yuan. The Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.8%. China also approved investment of up to 30 billion yuan of infrastructure projects Monday, while the central bank on Sunday injected net 140 billion yuan into the money market.
A technical fault disrupted Australia's main equities market on Monday, limiting trading for the day to less than three hours. ASX Ltd. delayed opening the market by 90 minutes as it worked to resolve the problem, then staggered the start with only portions of the market trading. Some initial trades had to be cancelled when stocks mistakenly went live. The market was again halted after midday and didn't re-open. The glitch meant frustration and uncertainty for investors who had expected a relatively quiet session ahead of central-bank policy meetings in Japan and the U.S. this week, and with no major economic data due for release. The problem stemmed from an issue with a technical component of ASX's markets that allows it to manage individual stocks, ASX spokesman Matthew Gibbs said. During the brief window that it was open, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index initially declined but was broadly flat when it was halted again, down just 1.9 points at 5294.8.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed down 0.4% at $4,776.00/t. Other base metals were predominantly up. Aluminium rose 0.4% to $1,569/t, zinc rose 1.6% to $2,237/t, tin rose 1.4% to $19,351/t, nickel rose 4.4% to $10,102/t, and lead rose 0.8% to $1,952/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Dakota Minerals Ltd (DKO), Breaker Resources NL (BRB), Bard1 Life Sciences Ltd (BD1), Alto Metals Ltd (AME), Birimian Limited (BGS), Antipa Minerals Ltd (AZY), Vault Intelligence Ltd (VLT), Noxopharm Ltd (NOX), Gage Roads Brewing Co. (GRB), West African Resources (WAF), Cedar Woods Properties Ltd (CWP), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH), Salt Lake Potash Ltd (SO4), Kalina Power Ltd (KPO), Austal Limited (ASB), Agrimin Ltd (AMN), Stavely Minerals Ltd (SVY), MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (MXC), Vital Metals Ltd (VML), Tox Free Solutions Ltd (TOX), Swick Mining Services Ltd (SWK), Davenport Resources Ltd (DAV), Orthocell Ltd (OCC), BC Iron Limited (BCI)