Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks edged lower Friday amid growing expectations among investors that the Federal Reserve would raise rates later this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2%, the S&P 500 shed 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite was off 0.03%. Traders said they expect quiet trading sessions and small stock-market moves early next week as earnings season has wound down and many desks have emptied due to vacation schedules. Traders and analysts are increasingly grappling with whether the Fed will raise rates in the coming months, and are turning their attention to next week's Jackson Hole, Wyo., symposium, at which Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak next Friday. The odds of a rate increase by December, as measured by Fed fund futures, rose to just over 50% on Friday. That is compared with a 46.9% chance the previous day, according to CME Group. In corporate news, final quarterly earnings reports trickled in. As of Friday, about 95% of companies in the S&P 500 had reported their second-quarter results, according to FactSet. Based on those results, S&P 500 earnings contracted for the fifth-consecutive quarter, though by not as much as analysts had feared, FactSet data shows.
European stocks fell Friday, with Italian shares leading the way down as concerns over the country's banking system sent lenders lower across the Eurozone. The Stoxx Europe 600 lost 0.8% to close at 340.14, extending its weekly loss to 1.7%. Italy's FTSE MIB index performed the worst among the major European benchmarks, dropping 2.2%.
Oil's push into bull-market territory boosted energy shares across Asia on Friday, lifting equity markets with a heavy commodities weighting. The Nikkei Stock Average closed up 0.4% amid yen weakening and a strengthening of energy prices. Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 0.1%. However, shares in Greater China were down on profit taking, following their recent strength. Also, weak earnings led to caution on valuations that had run up leading to the announcement of a trading link between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended down 0.4%, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1% after trading lower for much of the session. Uncertainty over the U.S. interest-rate outlook still hangs heavy, analysts said. The Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole symposium is set for next Friday, at which the Fed Reserve head Janet Yellen governor will give further rates guidance.
Gains by mining stocks drove Australia's equities market higher Friday, capping a week of mainly modest moves as mixed corporate earnings vied for investor attention. The S&P/ASX 200 finished 0.3% higher at 5526.7. With the exception of the energy subindex, all industry sectors were higher, led by a 1.2% rise by materials stocks. For the week, the ASX 200 slipped nearly 0.1% after last week's 0.6% rise. On Friday, 2.6 billion shares worth A$5.1 billion were traded, Commonwealth Securities said.
Copper prices settled slightly lower Friday in a quiet trading session as investors looked to next week for signs that Federal Reserve might raise interest rates. The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract was down 0.2% at $4,798/t at the PM kerb close. Other base metals were mixed on Friday. Aluminium fell 0.9% to $1,655/t, zinc fell 0.3% to $2,287/t, lead fell 0.7% to $1,871/t, tin settled up 0.9% to $18,585/t, and nickel settled 0.1% higher at $10,307/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Rio Tinto (RIO), Silver Lake Resources (SLR), Lynas Corporation (LYC), Evolution Mining (EVN), Regis Resources (RRL), Xanadu Mines (XAM), Mincor Resources NL (MCR) , Carbine Resources Ltd (CRB), Antipa Minerals (AZY), Energia Minerals Ltd (EMX), Pantoro Limited (PNR), Boss Resources Ltd (BOE), Metro Mining Ltd (MMI), Metal Bank Ltd (MBK), Actinogen Medical (ACW), St. George Mining Ltd (SGQ), Resapp Health Ltd (RAP), Orecorp Limited (ORR), Dimerix Limited (DXB), Genesis Minerals Ltd (GMD), Dakota Minerals Ltd (DKO), Breaker Resources NL (BRB), Bard1 Life Sciences Ltd (BD1), Alto Metals Ltd (AME), Birimian Limited (BGS), Antipa Minerals Ltd (AZY)