Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks climbed Thursday, led by the technology sector, after a strong round of corporate earnings reports. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 1.8% in the last hour of trading, and the S&P 500 added 1.0%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.0%. Technology stocks led the way after Facebook reported a 63% increase in earnings and its shares jumped 10%. The jump in this stock helped pull the S&P 500's technology sector up 2.4% after a six-session losing streak. A recent lurch higher in 10-year Treasury yields has spurred swings in the stock market in recent months, but some analysts still thinks yields are far from being a real threat to strong equity returns. The US gold price fell overnight by 0.5% to finish at 1,316.30 US$/oz.
The Stoxx Europe 600 closed 0.9% higher at 383.75, buoyed by the euro falling to its lowest since mid-January against the dollar after the European Central Bank noted a recent slowing in the eurozone economy as it left policy unchanged. Germany's DAX rose 0.6%, France's CAC 40 gained 0.7%, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was 0.6% higher. Much focus was on results, with Neste Oyj topping risers up 16.8%, while BE Semiconductor Industries results send its shares down 17%.
Declines in Chinese and Hong Kong stocks resumed Thursday even as benchmarks in Japan and South Korea logged solid gains after Wednesday's regional decline. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed up 0.5%, while indexes in China sold off. China's Shenzhen A-Share Index ended the day down 2.2%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1%. Late Wednesday, China's State Council unveiled additional tax-relief policies intended to support high-tech companies, start-ups and small firms. The best performer was Korea's Kospi, which added 1.1% as heavyweight Samsung Electronics rebounded. The worst performer in the region was Indonesia's stock benchmark, which dropped 2.8%–building on a 2.4% drop Wednesday, its biggest in 17 months.
A retreat by the major banks countered gains elsewhere, pulling Australia's stock benchmark lower for the first time this week. After a holiday Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2% to 5910.8 following solid early gains. Westpac skidded 3.6% after UBS raised questions about the health of the lender's mortgage book. Meanwhile, regional player Bank of Queensland shed 4.9% as it traded ex-dividend. Several big mining stocks eased as well, but the energy sector perked up as oil is rising again. Elsewhere, hospital operator Healthscope jumped 15% following a takeover bid.
Base metals were mostly up overnight. The London Metal Exchange’s aluminium price was up 1.3% to finish at 2,278 US$/t, while the lead price was also up 1.3% to finish at 2,332/t. Nickel and tin rose 0.7% and 0.4% to finish at 14,181 and 21,555/t, respectively. The only commodity to retreat overnight was the 3-month copper contract which was down 0.6%, to finish at 6,929 US$/t.
In this issue:
Agrimin (AMN) | Site Visit Impressions | SPEC BUY
Market Cap $134m | Current Price $0.86
Argonaut visited AMN’s Lake Mackay SOP project in Western Australia. We observed how AMN is in the process of testing two key elements in the production of SOP from lake bed sediment namely the potential flow rates from the proposed trenching system and the recovery of SOP from a series of small-scale evaporation ponds. We also gained an understanding of the potential size of the project. The lake is vast at 3,500km2 which in our view will support a large-scale SOP project. We visited several test trench sites on the large lake bed and observed the pumping out of the brine from these trenches and the gathering of data. AMN is planning to release its pre-feasibility Study in the near term and our view that the Lake Mackay project is viable was reinforced by visiting the project. We therefore retain our SPECULATIVE BUY on the company.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Gold Road Resources (GOR), Global Energy Ventures (GEV), Advanced braking technology (ABV), Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), Helix Resources (HLX), Pantoro Limited (PNR), Alt Resources Ltd (ARS), Coziron Resources Ltd (CZR), 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), Golden Mile Resources Ltd (G88), NTM Gold Ltd (NTM), Ausmex Mining Group Ltd (AMG), Matrix C&E Ltd (MCE), Austal Ltd (ASB), Decmil Group Ltd (DCG), Ventnor Resources Ltd, Ausdrill Ltd (ASL), Alice Queen Ltd (AQX), PNX Metals Ltd (PNX), Alliance Resources Ltd (AGS)