Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks stalled Friday, posting weekly losses as bubbling uncertainty around global trade policies and interest rates limited investors' appetite for risk. Stocks struggled for traction as investors grappled with geopolitical tensions spurred by new government proposals in Italy, doubts about a coming meeting between the U.S. and North Korea and continuing trade talks with China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 1 point, or less than 0.1%, to 24715. The S&P 500 declined 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2713 while the Nasdaq Composite lost 28.13 points, or 0.4%, to 7354.34. For the week, the Dow industrials fell 0.5%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.5% and the Nasdaq shed 0.7%–snapping a two-week winning streak. Bond like sectors of the stock market took a hit as rising crude-oil prices and interest rates stoked fresh investor bets on inflation. Shares of utilities and real-estate companies in the S&P 500, which are considered bond proxies because of their relatively hefty dividend payouts, both posted weekly losses of more than 3%. One factor that has helped keep many investors optimistic: the fact that data continues to suggest the U.S. economy is expanding at a slow and steady pace, even as reports have pointed to some loss of momentum in Europe and Japan. The US gold price rose by 0.13% to 1,291.90 (US$/oz).
European shares dropped as investors took profits ahead of the weekend and as continued geopolitical tensions weighed. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.3%, or 1.12 points, to 394.67. The price of a barrel of Brent crude fell back below $80 on worries about U.S. policy towards Iran and China, though it edged up 0.01% to $79.31 in late-afternoon trading. Italian banks fell as populist parties agreed on a program of government for Italy. Milan's FTSE MIB dropped 1.5% while Germany's DAX fell 0.3% and France's CAC-40 was down 0.1%.
Asian markets registered small gains Friday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.3% and Japan's Nikkei rose 0.4% as recent oil price grains drove shares of energy companies higher in Asia. Japanese stocks were also supported by a continued strengthening of the dollar against the yen, with the dollar up 1.5% against the Japanese currency so far this week.
Australia's stock benchmark struggled again today, resulting in a 3rd drop in 4 days and the end to a 6-week winning streak. The S&P/ASX 200 eased 0.1% to 6087.4, putting the week's decline at 0.5%. Bank stocks fell again, but so did materials in pulling back 1.1% after hitting another near-7-year high yesterday. Energy stocks helped offset that with a 0.6% gain, notching a fresh 3-year best.
Base metal prices were mixed for Friday on the London Metal Exchange. The 3-month copper contract lost 0.5% to 6,825/t. The price of aluminium and lead fell 1.6% and 1.8% respectively, to close at 2,267/t and 2,315/t. Nickel and tin gained 1.1% and 0.6% respectively, to finish at 14,689/t and 20,835/t. The price of zinc remained largely unchanged at 3,097/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Nzuri Copper (NZC), Bowen Coking Coal (BCB), Phosphagenics Limited (POH), Nexus Minerals (NXM), Great Boulder Resources (GBR), Orthocell (OCC), Northern Minerals (NTU), ABM Resources Ltd (ABU), Vital Metals Ltd (VML), Todd River Resources Ltd (TRT), Pacific Energy Ltd (PEA), Carnarvon Petroleum Ltd (CVN), Australian Mines Ltd (AUZ), Australian Finance Group (AFG), Paladin Energy Ltd (PDN), Cooper Energy Ltd (COE), Medibio Ltd (MEB), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Salt Lake Potash Ltd (SO4), Golden Mile Resources Ltd (G88), NTM Gold Ltd (NTM), Ausmex Mining Group Ltd (AMG), Matrix C&E Ltd (MCE), Austal Ltd (ASB), Decmil Group Ltd (DCG), Ventnor Resources Ltd, Ausdrill Ltd (ASL), Alice Queen Ltd (AQX), PNX Metals Ltd (PNX), Alliance Resources Ltd (AGS), Myanmar Metals Ltd (MYL), Primary Gold Ltd (PGO), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH)