Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks jumped to session highs in the last half hour of trading after a European Union official said President Donald Trump had secured concessions to avoid a trade war. As part of the negotiations, the EU is set to agree on lowering industrial tariffs and work on more LNG exports from the U.S. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7%, while the S&P 500 was up 0.9% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.9%. Investors are balancing uncertainty over trade conflicts with what is shaping up to be a strong corporate-earnings season. About 28% of companies in the S&P 500 have reported results for the latest quarter, and earnings are up 20% so far for companies in the index that have reported. Coca-Cola and United Parcel Service both posted stronger-than-expected revenue growth, pushing their shares up 1.9% and 6%, respectively. But Boeing shares slumped 2.3% as its results weren't as strong as some analysts and investors expected. The aerospace giant, though, raised its revenue outlook for 2018 despite the trade tensions the company has said will affect its input costs. AT&T, meanwhile, reported lower revenue in its latest quarter as its satellite-TV business suffered major losses. Its shares dropped 4.5%. The technology sector rose 1% ahead of Facebook's earnings report after the closing bell. Investors will be looking for signs the questions over the social media giant's handling of user data have affected its business. The US gold price gained 0.6% to record 1231.40 US$/oz.
European stocks closed broadly in the red as trade tensions weighed ahead of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's talks with President Trump. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.3%, or 1.01 points to 387.17 while Germany's DAX declined 0.9% and France's CAC-40 dropped 0.1%. "An apprehensive day for financial markets has seen significant selling throughout European stocks ahead of a key U.S.-EU meeting," says IG's Joshua Mahony. "With Trump and Juncker set for trade discussions in Washington later, the pessimistic stance seen within markets is certainly warranted, given the acrimonious tone in previous meetings."
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.1% following yesterday's gains on new stimulus measures from Beijing. Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.5% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.9%.
With no momentum behind an early push, Australian stocks underperformed the region as the major banks faltered anew following soft consumer inflation data and consumer shares struggled. Eating into yesterday's rebound, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.3% to 6247.6 with only the resources sectors showing meaningful gains following overnight strength in commodity prices. Westpac led the big banks lower with a 1% drop as it built on this week's retreat following news its cutting wealth-management prices for new customers. Meanwhile, the consumer-staples and health-care sectors each declined 1.5%.
Base metal prices were mainly down overnight on the London Metal Exchange. Aluminium fell 1.1% to 2,041/t, the 3-month copper contract decreased to 6,262/t. Zinc was 0.8% lower to record 2,631/t. Lead lost 0.2% to 2,134/t and nickel increased 0.6% to 13,577/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
SRG Ltd (SRG) Bowen Coking Coal (BCB), Birimian (BGS), Breaker Resources (BRB), Galena Mining (G1A), Valmec (VMX),Bryah Resources (BYH), Calima Energy (CE1) Genesis Minerals (GMD), Agrimin (AMN), Magnetic Resources (MAU), Core Exploration (CXO), Marindi Metals (MZN), MOD Resources (MOD), Santos (STO), Adriatic Metals (ADT) Bio–Gene Technology (BGT), Walkabout Resources (WKT), Triton Minerals (TON), Calima Energy (CE1), Peel Mining (PEX), Catalyst Metals (CYL), Vault Intelligence (VLT), Doray Minerals (DRM), Nzuri Coppoer (NZC), Bowen Coking Coal (BCB), Phosphagenics Limited (POH) 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)