Market Update & Important Indicators:
Stocks rose in afternoon trading Wednesday as the price of oil surged. U.S.-traded crude oil jumped 5.4% to $47.08 a barrel in afternoon trading on reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached a deal to limit production. Reuters reported the group reached a deal. The Wall Street Journal said OPEC reached an understanding and the group would wait until November to finalize a plan. Energy companies in the S&P 500 rose 4.1%, making the group the best-performing sector in the index. Elsewhere, biotech stocks declined, weighing on the Nasdaq Composite. The Nasdaq Biotechnology index dropped 0.8%. The group has had a stellar performance in recent months. Since the end of June, the Nasdaq Biotechnology index is up roughly 15%, though it remains down 13% in 2016.
European stocks closed with firm gains, as a rally for embattled Deutsche Bank sparked a banking-sector recovery, while oil companies rose amid of a closely watched OPEC meeting in Algeria. The Stoxx Europe 600 index jumped 0.7% to end at 342.57, trimming its monthly loss to 0.3%. Investors are watching the health of the European banking sector closely, with the Euro Stoxx Banks index down about 24% so far this year. Recent declines in bank shares are particularly worrisome in Europe, where banks constitute a significant share of direct lending into the economy.
Stocks in Japan led declines across the region, dragged by weak oil prices and jitters about the health of the nation's banks. The Nikkei Stock Average closed Wednesday down 1.3%, with energy, banking and export sectors leading losses. Korea's Kospi closed down 0.5%, the Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.3% lower, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was flat. An oil-price slide in the U.S. overnight Tuesday hit Japanese energy stocks. Saudi Arabia's energy minister said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries wouldn't reach a deal to curb output during talks this week in Algiers. Oil prices recovered slightly in Asian trade Wednesday, with international benchmark Brent crude rising 0.4% to $46.17 a barrel. The fall in Japanese financial stocks followed a good run last week on the idea that the Bank of Japan was rethinking negative rates, partly due to their corrosive effect on bank profits. However, traders seem to be slowly coming to the view that negative rates continue to be a pillar of BOJ planning, and this has hurt Japan financial stocks all week.
Australia's equities market managed only a slight gain Wednesday as sharply weaker energy stocks following a drop in oil prices offset gains by utilities and a modest recovery by most of the big banks. After an initial push higher, the market settled into a narrow range for most of the session before finishing up 6.5 points, or 0.1%, at 5412.4. So far this week, the index is down 0.4% after Tuesday's drop and a flat session Monday. The utilities sector jumped 2.2%. The basket of energy stocks dropped 1.2%, after an overnight slide in crude prices amid growing investor scepticism that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will move closer to an agreement to limit production.
The LME's three-month copper contract closed up 0.7% at $4,818/t, also helped by strength in industrial metals across the board. Aluminium rose 0.9% to $1,653/t, zinc rose 0.7% to $2,330/t, tin rose 0.3% to $19,896/t, nickel rose 0.6% to $10,651/t and lead rose 1.8% to $2,000/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Dakota Minerals Ltd (DKO), Breaker Resources NL (BRB), Bard1 Life Sciences Ltd (BD1), Alto Metals Ltd (AME), Birimian Limited (BGS), Antipa Minerals Ltd (AZY), Vault Intelligence Ltd (VLT), Noxopharm Ltd (NOX), Gage Roads Brewing Co. (GRB), West African Resources (WAF), Cedar Woods Properties Ltd (CWP), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH), Salt Lake Potash Ltd (SO4), Kalina Power Ltd (KPO), Austal Limited (ASB), Agrimin Ltd (AMN), Stavely Minerals Ltd (SVY), MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (MXC), Vital Metals Ltd (VML), Tox Free Solutions Ltd (TOX), Swick Mining Services Ltd (SWK), Davenport Resources Ltd (DAV), Orthocell Ltd (OCC), BC Iron Limited (BCI)