Market Update & Important Indicators
Shares of technology companies rose Tuesday, helping major U.S. stock indexes stabilize after Monday's declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1% a half-hour before the close, while the S&P 500 added 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3%. The moves came after tensions between North Korea and the U.S. sparked a pullback in U.S. stocks Monday. Without any new major geopolitical developments on Tuesday, investors appeared to be taking advantage of the recent declines. Shares of tech companies in the S&P 500, which have been big contributors to this year's gains in the U.S. stock market, climbed after slumping Monday. The U.S. gold price traded lost ground overnight, falling 1.3% to close at 1,293.60 US$/oz.
European stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as the euro softened a second straight session following Germany's general election on Sunday and as traders got the first opportunity to react to the latest threat of armed conflict in the Korean Peninsula. The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended marginally higher after swinging between small gains and losses throughout the day. Most country-specific indexes were also volatile after North Korea's foreign minister late in Monday's session claimed the U.S. has declared war on the isolated state. European equity markets are still suffering from low volatility. Trading ranges have been low because investors are cautious of geopolitical risks such as North Korea, the German election and the Catalonian independence referendum. The U.K. FTSE Index closed down 0.2%.
Most Asian markets largely finished modestly lower Tuesday, amid fresh concern about North Korea and the U.S. and as technology stocks sold off overnight, highlighted by Facebook's biggest drop since November. Tech-heavy Taiwan was again the regional laggard, closing at a six-week low. And Korea's Kospi logged its first six-session losing streak since April. Late buying, though, allowed benchmarks in China and Hong Kong to finish slightly higher.
Australian stocks slid into session lows ahead of the close before rebounding some amid modest declines in most Asia Pacific markets. The S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.2% Tuesday as Commonwealth Bank fell another 0.9% to lag its peers. Meanwhile, BHP shed 0.7% amid continued declines in iron-ore prices. Oil stocks limited the declines, with Santos up 3.5% and Oil Search climbing 2.8%.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded lower overnight, losing 0.6% to finish at $6,413/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Nickel prices fell 0.9% to 10,395/t, while aluminium prices lost 1.1% to close at 2,101/t. Lead prices added 0.3% to close at 2,478/t, whilst Zinc prices gained 0.2% to 3,168/t. Tin prices consolidated overnight, pulling back 0.1% to finish at 20,911/t.
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