Market Update & Important Indicators
The S&P 500 rose to a fresh record as investors focused on corporate earnings and largely brushed off the threat of a U.S. government shutdown. The index is up 5.1% in 2018, its best 13-day start to a year since 1987. The recent leg higher has been marked by investors' fervour for stocks, propelling what some analysts are referring as a "melt-up," which is commonly defined as a period of sudden stock-market gains. The start of fourth-quarter earnings season is also assisting in lifting major indexes, as investors have embraced better-than-expected results and optimistic corporate guidance. On Friday, financial companies rose after several regional banks reported fourth-quarter results. The gains helped lift the S&P 500 by 12.27 points, or 0.4%, to 2810.30, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 40.33 points, or 0.6%, to 7336.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain, rising 53.91 points, or 0.2%, to 26071.72, despite declines from components American Express and International Business Machines. The U.S. gold price traded higher overnight, gaining 0.3% to finish at 1,330.60 US$/oz.
European shares closed higher, with the STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% at 400.88, having reached its highest in two and a half years at 401.15. German stocks outperformed, with the DAX up 1.2% as recent positive eurozone economic and corporate news continues to encourage the buying of European equities. France's CAC 40 ended up 0.6% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 up 0.4%. All major European bourses ended higher, with Spain's IBEX 35 up 0.5% and Italy's FTSE MIB up 0.5%.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.2% higher, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up by 0.4%. Taiwan's Taiex rose another 0.7% to a fresh 28-year high as it continues marching toward 1990's record high, now 11% away. China's Shenzhen A-Share index was down slightly, falling 0.1%.
Australian stocks capped their 3rd down week in 4 with a 4th-straight drop and continued underperformance versus others in the region. The S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1% to 6005.80, a fresh 5-week low, putting the week's decline at 1.1%–the most since mid-November. Energy stocks continue to weigh, with that sector down 0.7% today and 4.5% for the week, the most since June. Utilities were also weak today while major telecom firm Telstra shed 1.4%.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded lower overnight, shedding 0.5% to finish at $7,041/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Aluminium prices pulled back 1.1% to 2,219/t, while lead prices slipped 0.9% to close at 2,582/t. Zinc prices were 1.2% stronger at 3,440/t, whilst nickel prices jumped 2.1% to 12,679/t. Tin prices rebounded 1.1%, closing at 20,690/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations
Ramelius Resources Ltd (RMS), MOD Resources Ltd (MOD), Greenland Minerals & Energy Ltd (GGG), Walkabout Resources Ltd (WKT), Marindi Metals Ltd (MZN), Volt Power Group Ltd (VPR), PharmAust Ltd (PAA), Alice Queen Ltd (AQX), Jervois Mining Ltd (JRV), St George Mining Ltd (SGQ), Overland Resources Ltd (OVR), Metro Mining Ltd (MMI), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Xanadu Mines Ltd (XAM), Orthocell Ltd (OCC), Whitebark Energy Ltd (WBE), Atrum Coal Ltd (ATU), Minotaur Exploration Ltd (MEP), Panoramic Resources Ltd (PAN), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH), Great Boulder Resources Ltd (GBR), Metallum Ltd (MNE)