Market Update & Important Indicators:
Shares of utility companies and other dividend-paying stocks led the S&P 500 higher following tepid U.S. economic data. Meanwhile, technology stocks erased early gains, putting pressure on major U.S. stock indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15 points, or 0.1%, to 21410. The S&P 500 ended flat and the Nasdaq Composite shed less than 0.1%. Dividend-paying stocks rose after data from the Commerce Department showed demand for long-lasting factory goods declined in May for the second-straight month. Recent inflation figures have been lacklustre, raising concerns that further disappointing data could damp U.S. growth and change the Federal Reserve's outlook for raising interest rates this year and next, some analysts said. Utilities shares in the S&P 500 rose 0.8%, leading gains in the broader index along with telecommunications companies. The U.S. gold price was lower overnight, dropping 1.0% to finish at 1,244.50 US$/oz.
European stocks finished with gains on Monday, helped by Italian banks after that country's government stepped in to shut down two failed lenders. The Stoxx Europe 600 index climbed 0.4% to end at 389.05. Last week, stocks across Europe were put under pressure by a renewed selloff in oil prices, with crude slumping to a 10-month low on Wednesday. However, oil prices rose on Monday, giving a boost to energy giants. West Texas Intermediate crude was recently 0.4% higher, while Brent gained 0.1%. The Italian government on Sunday reached a deal to close two struggling lenders-Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza-after the European Central Bank on Friday evening declared that the pair was set to fail. The bill to assume responsibility for liquidating the banks' bad loans and other items could cost the government as much as 17 billion euros ($19 billion). Italy's FTSE MIB index rallied 0.8% to end at 21,001.95.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9%, with Chinese stocks continuing to perform strongly following MSCI's decision to add them to its indexes. Gains there also helped boost Hong Kong equities on Monday. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.8%. Meanwhile, Taiwan's tech-heavy Taiex index gained 1.3% to hit fresh 27-year highs. In Japan, the Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.1%, with financial stocks weighing on the broader index. Signs that interest rates will remain low continue to weigh on Japanese financials, said Hisao Matsuura, chief strategist for equities at Nomura Japan.
Australian stocks closed slightly higher Monday after paring gains following a strong start to the day, as banks struggled to hang on to a recovery. Although up as much as 0.6% early in the day, the S&P/ASX 200 finished with a gain of 4.3 points, or less than 0.1%, at 5720.2. The see-sawing came as the end of the Australian financial year draws near, with strength in mining companies and utilities balanced by weakness in technology stocks and property trusts. The lenders remained under a cloud after one of Australia's states last week said it would piggyback on a federal tax on liabilities with its own levy, raising the prospect of other states imposing similar taxes in an effort to bolster their budgets. Crude-oil prices rose in Asian trading, offering support for energy stocks.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract fell 0.1% Monday to close at $5,795/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Lead prices rose 1.2% to 2,239/t, tin prices rose 0.4% to 19,360/t, whilst zinc prices jumped 0.5% to 2,717/t. Falling for the day, aluminium prices shed 0.1% to 1,855/t, whilst nickel prices fell 0.6% to 8,974/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Echo Resources Ltd (EAR), Sovereign Metals Ltd (SVM), Calidus Resources Ltd (CAI), Great Boulder Resources Ltd (GBR), Finders Resources Ltd (FND), Bionomics Ltd (BNO), Threat Protect Australia Ltd (TPS), Ramelius Resources Ltd (RMS), Zenith Energy Ltd (ZEN), Blackham Resources Ltd (BLK), 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)