Market Update & Important Indicators:
The Nasdaq Composite rose Wednesday, heading for a fourth straight session of gains. The Nasdaq's gains came even as other indexes wobbled after the failure of a health-care overhaul spurred concerns that President Donald Trump would struggle to enact key corporate-friendly policies such as tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending. The tech-heavy index rose 0.4% Wednesday, poised for a roughly 1% climb in March, boosted by an advance in biotechnology shares. Expectations for market-friendly politics from the new administration had helped send U.S. stocks to record highs earlier this year and have continued to keep many investors optimistic about U.S. stocks. Upbeat economic data have also helped lift stocks and shortened pullbacks in recent months. Still, investors have pointed to a modest divergence between survey-based measures of consumer and business confidence and readings on real economic output, such as retail and housing sales that have roughly matched expectations. Rebounding for the day was the U.S. gold price which jumped 0.2% at 1,253.40 US$/oz.
European stocks rose for a second straight day Wednesday, as investors largely ignored the official commencement of the U.K.'s negotiations to break from the European Union, dubbed Brexit. After swinging in and out of positive territory through the day, the Stoxx Europe 600 index closed 0.3% higher at 378.53, building on a 0.6% rally from Tuesday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index ended 0.4% higher at 7,373.72, also after a volatile trading day. The pound traded at $1.2405 at the time of the European market close, down from $1.2450 late Tuesday in New York.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.2% Wednesday, led by gains in Tencent, and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.1%. Several Japanese stocks that often attract investors with higher dividends underperformed as they went ex-dividend. Chinese stocks were pulled down by a broad-based correction. The old bugbears–traders' fear of a new crackdown on speculative trade and doubts about the health of domestic economy–depress sentiment. A sharp decline in fresh domestic IPOs reflected the limits of appetite for domestic China stocks, as traders worry that regulators will soon step in to cool the market. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.4% at 3241.31 while the Shenzhen Composite Index shed 0.7% at 2019.39.
Australian shares rose to their highest level since April 2015, as confidence in the global growth outlook improved following upbeat U.S. data, while a cyclone that struck Queensland state on Tuesday appeared to spare critical energy infrastructure. The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 0.9% or 52.3 points at 5873.5 on Wednesday, taking its cue from Wall Street, where U.S. stocks snapped an eight-day losing streak. Australia's Big 4 banks were all higher, while energy companies advanced after ongoing oil-supply disruptions in Libya pushed crude futures up. In the U.S., a measure of consumer confidence grew in March to its highest level in 16 years. Australian coal miners were mixed on Wednesday as investors assessed the heavy rainfall and flooding brought on by Tropical Cyclone Debbie in Queensland.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed up 0.58% at $5,907/t. All other base metals finished higher on Wednesday. Aluminium prices rose 0.9% at 1,953/t, zinc prices rose 1.2% at 2,839/t, lead prices rose 1.0% at 2,342/t, tin prices rose 0.7% at 20,197/t, whilst nickel prices also finished 0.5% higher at 9,978/t.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
Marindi Metals Ltd (MZN), Rift Valley Resources Ltd (RVY), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Thundelarra Ltd (THX), DTI Group Ltd (DTI) OpenDNA Limited (OPN), Metro Mining Ltd (MMI), Tox Free Solutions Ltd (TOX), St George Mining Ltd (SGQ), Venturex Resources Ltd (VXR), Creso Pharma Limited (CPH), Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Ltd (SEH), Orecorp Limited (ORR) Doray Minerals Limited (DRM), Capricorn Metals Ltd (CMM) Independence Group (IGO), Cardinal Resources Limited (CDV), Metal Bank Ltd (MBK), MOD Resources Ltd (MOD) Quintis Ltd (QIN), Regis Resources Ltd (RRL), Apollo Minerals Ltd (AON), Ironbark Zinc Ltd (IBG), Sovereign Metals Ltd (SVM)