Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. equity markets were closed overnight for the Memorial Day public holiday.
European and Asian stocks had a muted start to the week, with holidays slowing activity world-wide Monday, as investors shrugged off political concerns emerging after a meeting of world leaders over the weekend and another missile launch in North Korea. After the annual summit of the Group of Seven industrialized countries, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe can no longer completely rely on other countries, underlining her frustration with U.S. President Donald Trump. At the G-7 summit in Italy over the weekend, Ms. Merkel and five other world leaders sought to convince Mr. Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement. Mr. Trump didn't commit one way or the other. Later in the day, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned that it is too early to start winding down the bank's large monetary stimulus, striking a cautious note in his last public comments before the ECB's June policy meeting. After Mr. Draghi's comments, the euro currency weakened slightly against the dollar.
In Asia, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile within about 320 kilometres (200 miles) off Japan's coastline early Monday, the third week in a row that Asian investors have had to include a North Korea missile launch in their decision-making process. The Euro Stoxx 50 was almost flat all day, a trend seen across the continent. Italy's FTSE MIB posted the strongest loss, ending down 2%. Due to holidays in the U.K., U.S., China and Taiwan, trading was slow. South Korea, arguably the most at risk sentiment-wise to worries about North Korea, continued to see investor interest early Monday as the Kospi benchmark stock index powered to fresh record highs and was again the region's best performer.
Broad selling pulled Australian shares to a nine-week low on Monday, more than wiping out all of last week's gains. The major banks were again a big drag on the market, adding to weakness in recent weeks after lacklustre earnings and following a surprise tax that will be imposed from next month. A falling iron-ore price weighed heavily on miners, while Friday's rebound in oil prices did little for energy stocks. Settling at the session low, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 44.6 points, or 0.8%, to 5707.1–the lowest close since March 22. The four biggest banks collected knocked almost 21 points from the index, and are now down an average 9.6% since budget day three weeks ago when the federal government introduced plans for a tax on the liabilities of the country's largest banks to help it close the deficit.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed flat on Monday at $5,658/t. The other base metals finished mixed overnight. Lead prices fell 0.7% to 2,090/t, whilst zinc prices also shed 0.3% at 2,623/t. Aluminium prices bucked the trend rising 0.1% to 1,950/t. Nickel and tin prices were both unchanged for the day, finishing at 9,040/t and 20,558/t respectively.
Recent Contacts & Presentations:
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), Hotcopper Holdings Ltd (HOT), Resolute Mining Ltd (RSG), Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BOT), Pantoro Ltd (PNR), Beadell Resources Ltd (BDR), Investigator Resources Ltd (IVR), Echo Resources (EAR), Emerald Resources NL (EMR), PharmaNet Group (PNO), Strandline Resources Ltd (STA)