Market Update & Important Indicators
U.S. stocks rebounded Friday, gaining back much of their midweek tumble. The calm climb in recent sessions contrasted sharply with earlier in the week, when the S&P 500 posted its steepest one-day drop since September. Wednesday's selloff was sparked by concerns about the latest political setbacks and controversies to hit the Trump administration. The S&P 500 tumbled 1.8% on Wednesday. Since then, however, the index is up about 1%. Some analysts said the quick bounce back shows political turmoil in the U.S. and abroad seldom rattles markets for long, and investors are instead focusing on economic growth and strong corporate earnings. The blue-chip index rose as much as 194 points earlier in the day before paring gains following a Washington Post report that said the investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign had identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest. Rising oil prices sent shares of energy and mining companies higher. U.S.-traded crude oil gained 2% to $50.33 a barrel ahead of next week's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, where production cuts are expected to be extended. With nearly all of the S&P 500 reporting, earnings for companies in the index are on track to grow 13.9% from the prior year, which would mark the biggest earnings growth for the index since 2011, according to FactSet.
European stocks finished Friday's session higher, modestly recovering from a selloff spurred by U.S. political drama that dragged major regional benchmarks into the red for the week. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.6% to close at 391.51. The move followed the lead of U.S. stocks. U.S. stocks continued to gain ground Friday but those major equity indexes were facing a weekly fall. The pan-European benchmark fell 1% for the week, the first decline in four weeks, FactSet data showed. The drop came as part of a rout in global equities that followed a report that U.S. President Donald Trump tried to stop a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into links between his associates and Russian officials.
Asian stocks appeared to be consolidating Friday after two days of declines. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average reversed early losses to rise 0.2% as the dollar trimmed a drop against the yen. China equities ended the week on a relative calm note, despite decreased liquidity. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed Friday up less than 1 point at 3,090.63, while the Shenzhen Composite and ChiNext lost 0.1% and 0.7%, respectively.
Further declines by large banks on Friday held back strength in the miners and extended the Australian stock market's decline this week. It was a second straight week of losses for the major banks, which carry a heavy weight in the market and are among the biggest stocks by value, since the government laid out plans in its budget for a tax on liabilities to raise funds needed to plug a deficit. That overshadowed the resource sector at the tail end of the week, as mining stocks were buoyed by signs demand for iron ore is holding up. Sliding for a third straight session, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 10.9 points, or 0.2%, to end at 5727.4. The four largest banks collectively knocked more than 13 points off the index. That cemented the sharpest weekly drop since early November, with a loss of 1.9%.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed up 1.83% at $5,682/t. All other base metals finished higher on Friday. Lead prices rose 0.9% to 2,074/t, nickel prices rose 2.1% to 9,325/t, tin prices rose 1.0% at 20,550/t, zinc prices rose 3.4% at 2,604/t whilst aluminium prices rose 1.1% at 1,942/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations
Egan Street Resources Ltd (EGA), Alice Queen Ltd (AQX), Paringa Resources Ltd (PNL), AWE Limited (AWE), Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (SAR), Red River Resources Ltd (RVR), Vital Metals Ltd (VML), Prairie Mining Ltd (PDZ), Hotcopper Holdings Ltd (HOT), Resolute Mining Ltd (RSG), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Pantoro Ltd (PNR), Beadell Resources Ltd (BDR), Investigator Resources Ltd (IVR), Echo Resources (EAR), Emerald Resources NL (EMR), PharmaNet Group (PNO), Strandline Resources Ltd (STA)