Market Update & Important Indicators
Shares of financial companies led U.S. stocks higher Wednesday, as major indexes rebounded from their worst session in weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 153 points, or 0.7%, to 21464, as gains in J.P. Morgan Chase, Caterpillar and Goldman Sachs Group and put the blue-chip index on course for its biggest gain since April. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.3%. A day earlier, the Dow industrials and S&P 500 posted their biggest declines in more than a month. Technology shares rebounded and were recently up 1.1% in the S&P 500. Tech has been the index's best-performing sector this year, but is down this month. Financial stocks rose 1.6% in the S&P 500, with Bank of America adding 2.8%. The bank is expected to get a stress-test result from the Federal Reserve that will let it increase its dividend payout to shareholders. Wells Fargo & Company and J.P. Morgan Chase were also up more than 2%. Financial shares have also had support recently from upticks in bond yields, which should help banks' net-interest margins, a key measure of lending profitability. The U.S. gold price rose slightly, rising 0.2% to finish at 1,248.80 US$/oz.
European stocks closed a topsy-turvy session at a two-month low, with the euro pulled lower intraday while the pound leapt as investors reassessed policy stances at both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England. The Stoxx Europe 600 closed down less than 1 point at 385.82, but that still represented the lowest close since April 21. Financial, consumer services and oil and gas shares finished higher, but health care, tech and utilities fell.
Asian equities were mostly lower, tracking declines on Wall Street and in Europe on Tuesday. Korea's Kospi's IT subindex slid 2.3% while Taiwan's Taiex was off 1.2%, echoing a selloff in U.S. technology companies. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.5% but higher sovereign-debt yields supported shares of Japanese insurers which are heavy buyers of such securities.
Australian stocks rose strongly Wednesday as a lift in commodity prices and a recovery by the banks contributed to widespread buying. After initially dipping, the S&P/ASX 200 steadily gained ground through the session to end near its high, up 41.5 points, or 0.7%, at 5755.7. It was the biggest move by the index in a week. Financial and resources stocks led broad gains, with only the industrials sector finishing in the red. Banks found further support in a steadier week for the industry, after declining of late in the wake of fresh taxes on the largest lenders' liabilities as well as the prospect of greater regulatory capital requirements and worries about the housing market. The materials sector notched up the sharpest rise, buoyed by overnight strength in base metals and iron-ore prices.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract rose 1.1% Tuesday to close at $5,858/t. All other base metals finished higher. Aluminium prices rose 1.2% to 1,877/t, lead prices rose 1.5% to 2,273/t, nickel prices rose 2.7% to 9,213/t, tin prices rose 0.2% to 19,390/t, whilst zinc prices jumped 1.1% to 2,747/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations
Emmerson Resources Ltd (ERM), Antipa Minerals Ltd (AZY), 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)