Market Update & Important Indicators
The S&P 500 paused Monday, weighed down by a pullback in shares of energy companies. Major indexes struggled for traction Monday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq giving up early gains to trade mostly lower in the second half of the session. Shares of retailers jumped following the weekend's holiday sales, while oil-and-gas companies fell along with U.S. crude prices. With major indexes still up double-digit percentages for 2017, some analysts said it was not surprising to see the momentum in U.S. stocks falter a bit heading into year-end. The S&P 500 declined less than 0.1% in recent trade. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%. U.S. crude oil shed 1.3% to $58.21 a barrel ahead of a meeting of major crude producers. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as producers including Russia, is expected Thursday to discuss whether to extend output cuts that some analysts say have helped oil prices recover this year. The U.S. gold price traded higher overnight, jumping 0.5% to close at 1,293.90 US$/oz.
European stocks ended a choppy session in negative territory on Monday, with banking stocks leading the charge lower. Oil stocks were also weighing on sentiment, as they tracked a slide in oil prices ahead of the closely watched OPEC meeting on Thursday. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5% to close at 384.87, after swinging between small gains and losses for most of the day. In Germany, the DAX 30 benchmark ended 0.5% lower at 13,000.20, while France's CAC 40 index gave up 0.6% to 5,360.09. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index finished 0.4% lower at 7,383.90.
Declines in shares of technology giants and domestic Chinese shares weighed down Asian bourses Monday. China's market fell anew after Thursday's slump. The CSI 300, which consists of the biggest stocks in Shanghai and Shenzhen, was down 1.3% Monday, while the Shenzhen Composite fell 1.5% and the Shanghai Composite was off 0.9%. Chinese equities had also dropped sharply Thursday when leading stock indexes there fell more than 2% before rebounding somewhat Friday. South Korea's Kospi slid 1.4% and Taiwan's Taiex dropped 1% Monday after Morgan Stanley downgraded their stock ratings for Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor, each their respective index's largest component by far.
Australia’s Stock benchmark was up most of the day, faring better than most in the sector, though it was unable to hold 6000. The S&P/ASX 200 finished up 0.1% at 5988.8 after 2 straight slight declines as the round number continues to prove as resistance. The utilities sector was the standout, rising 1%. That as big banks and miners were all little changed.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded lower overnight, slipping 0.8% to finish at $6,942/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Aluminium prices rose 0.1% to 2,120/t, whilst Tin prices gained 0.1% to close at 19,588/t. Lead prices dropped 0.7% to close at 2,456/t, whilst Zinc prices gave up 1.5% at 3,213/t. Nickel prices fared worst though, closing 3.9% lower at 11,513/t.
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