Market Update & Important Indicators:
Consumer-discretionary shares lifted U.S. stock indexes intraday while oil prices slid. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 71 points, or 0.3%, to 21083. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.6% – both heading toward fresh closing records. Strong first-quarter earnings and broadly upbeat U.S. economic data have pushed stocks higher this year despite waning expectations for tax cuts and fiscal stimulus from the Trump administration. Still, some investors say they remain wary of the stock run. The S&P 500 traded as of Wednesday at roughly 22 times its last 12 months of earnings, according to FactSet, above its 10-year average of 17 times trailing earnings. Consumer-discretionary stocks rose, among the biggest gainers in the S&P 500 for the day. Falling for the day, the U.S. gold price shed 0.3% to finish at 1,255.40 US$/oz.
European stocks notched a slight loss, hampered by lower volume and a slide in oil prices following news the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will hold back from making deeper production cuts. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.1% to end at 392.14, after darting in and out of positive territory during the session. While major stock exchanges were open, Germany and Switzerland were among the countries observing the Ascension holiday. Germany's DAX was down 0.2% to end at 12,621.72, but had been higher during the session.
Stocks in South Korea soared to a fresh high, leading broad gains across the region after the nation's central bank held interest rates at a record-low in a vote of confidence in the economy. The Kospi Index was last up 0.8%, with gains accelerating after the Bank of Korea's decision to hold rates at 1.25% for a 10th straight meeting. Equities elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region also rose, as the latest U.S. Federal Reserve minutes hinting at a June interest-rate increase were no surprise to the market. Investors were also positioning themselves ahead of the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, due to begin later in the global trading day. Japan stocks rose further as equities in the region continued to move higher. The Nikkei climbed 0.4% to 19813.13, coming as the dollar rebounded some versus the yen following an overnight decline. Elsewhere, the Taiex in Taiwan rose 0.5% to a fresh 17-year high. In China, stocks were mixed following the previous session's swings in the wake of Moody's downgrade. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.4%, while the Shenzhen main board extended losses to decline 0.7%.
Resources companies led the Australian share market higher as iron ore prices steadied and crude oil recovered. Modest gains by several of the major banks also lent weight to the day's advance, taking back some of the steady losses in recent weeks that picked up on news earlier in the month that the federal government would tax the liabilities of the biggest banks from July. Ending near its high of the day, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 20.6 points, or 0.4%, to 5789.6. It was a second straight rise for the index and its third of the week.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed up 0.74% at $5,724/t. The other base metals finished mixed on Thursday. Lead prices rose 0.8% at 2,065/t, whilst aluminium prices also finished up 0.8% at 1,958/t. Falling for the day was the nickel price which shed 0.6% to 9,001/t. Ending flat for the day was tin and zinc prices which finished at 20,530/t and 2,625/t respectively.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Top End Minerals Ltd (TND), Northern Star Resources Ltd (NST), Xanadu Mines Ltd (XAM), Dacian Gold (DCN), 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)
Please read Argonaut's Important Disclaimers & disclosures