Market Review, Commodities, Currencies, Economic & Corporate Update - 05.04.24

  • Market Overview

SOUTH AFRICA MARKET REVIEW

  • South African markets closed in the green yesterday, boosted by gains in precious metal mining sector stocks.
  • Platinum miners, Impala Platinum (JO: IMPJ ), Northam Platinum (JO: NPHJ ) and Anglo American Platinum (JO: AMSJ ) surged 10.1%, 6.7% and 3.1%, respectively.
  • Gold miner, Harmony Gold Mining (JO: HARJ ) rose 2.2%, after the company concluded a five-year wage agreement with all of its labour unions.
  • Diversified miners, Anglo American (JO: AGLJ ), Pan African Resources (JO: PANJ ) and Exxaro Resources (JO: EXXJ ) increased 3.3%, 2.7% and 1.5%. respectively.
  • Pharmaceutical company, Aspen Pharmacare (JO: APNJ ) added 1.0%, after the company finalised the acquisition of Swiss drug maker Sandoz’s Chinese subsidiary for up to EU92.60mn (R1.90bn).
  • The JSE All Share index advanced 1.7% to close at 75,373.

UK MARKET REVIEW

  • The UK market finished firmer yesterday, buoyed by gains in mining sector stocks.
  • Miners, Antofagasta (LON: ANTO ), Fresnillo (LON: FRES ) and Glencore (JO: GLNJ ) advanced 4.7%, 3.2% and 1.2%, respectively.
  • Banking firms, Lloyds Banking Group (LON: LLOY ), NatWest Group (LON: NWG ), Barclays (LON: BARC ) and HSBC Holdings (LON: HSBA ) gained 3.0%, 2.9%, 2.5% and 1.7%, respectively.
  • Real estate companies, Land Securities Group (LON: LAND ), Barratt Developments (LON: BDEV ) and Berkeley Group Holdings (LON: BKGH ) rose 2.0%, 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively.
  • Insurance companies, Legal & General Group (LON: LGEN ) and Prudential (LON: PRU ) added 1.6% and 1.1%, respectively.
  • On the other hand, retailer, Ocado (LON: OCDO ) dropped 5.0%, after the company’s Chairman Rick Haythornthwaite intends to step down next year.
  • The FTSE 100 index advanced 0.5% to close at 7,975.89.

US MARKET REVIEW

  • US markets ended lower yesterday, as remarks by US Federal Reserve official weighed on investor sentiment.
  • Technology companies, Salesforce (NYSE: CRM ), International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM ), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO ) dropped 3.5%, 1.6%, 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively.
  • Financial services companies, American Express (NYSE: AXP ), Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS ) and JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) declined 2.8%, 1.9% and 0.8%, respectively.
  • On the contrary, apparel company, Levi Strauss (NYSE: LEVI ) surged 12.4%, after the company raised its annual profit forecast, citing savings from its recent cost-cutting measures and fewer discounts.
  • The S&P 500 index fell 1.2% to settle at 5,147.21, while the DJIA index declined 1.4% to close at 38,596.98.
  • The NASDAQ index eased 1.4% to end the trading session at 16,049.08.

ASIA MARKET REVIEW

  • Asian markets are trading lower this morning.
  • In Japan, consumer credit and finance services company, Credit Saison (TYO: 8253 ) has dropped 5.4%.
  • On the flipside, energy company, Inpex (TYO: 1605 ) Corporation has gained 1.3%.
  • In Hong Kong, real estate company, Longfor Group Holdings (HK: 0960 ) has declined 5.1%.
  • On the other hand, electronics parts company, Techtronic Industries (HK: 0669 ) has advanced 3.2%.
  • In South Korea, infrastructure support and services company, Doosan Corporation (KS: 000157 ) has shed 5.6%.
  • On the contrary, security systems company, Hitron Systems (KS: 019490 ) has surged 10.7%.
  • The Nikkei 225 index is trading 2.4% lower at 38,812.24.
  • The Hang Seng index has shed 0.9% to trade at 16,580.50, while the Kospi index is trading 0.9% lower at 2,717.69.

COMMODITIES

  • At 05:30 SAST today, Brent prices rose 0.4% to trade at $90.97/bl.
  • Yesterday, Brent prices rose 1.5% to settle at $90.65/bl, following heightened geopolitical tensions and potential supply risks.
  • At 05:30 SAST today, gold prices declined 0.5% to trade at $2,278.45/oz. Yesterday, gold declined 0.4% to close at $2,289.43/oz, as investors await more clarity on the timing of the interest rate cuts by the US Fed.
  • Yesterday, copper rose 3.5% to close at $9,241.91/mt. Aluminium closed 0.6% higher at $2,444.30/mt.

CURRENCIES

  • Yesterday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar. In the US, the number of initial jobless claims rose to a two-month high in the week ended 29 March 2024.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell yesterday. The yield on the 2030 bond declined to 10.69%, while that for the longer-dated 2040 issue fell to 13.05%.
  • At 05:30 SAST, the US dollar is trading 0.2% higher against the South African rand at R18.7556, while the euro is trading 0.1% higher at R20.3087. At 05:30 SAST, the British pound has gained 0.1% against the South African rand to trade at R23.6787.
  • Yesterday, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies. In Germany, the HCOB services PMI rose more than expected in March. In the eurozone, the HCOB services PMI advanced more than expected in March. Meanwhile, the producer price index (PPI) declined in February, amid a continued downward trend in energy prices. In the UK, the S&P Global services PMI fell more than expected in March.
  • At 05:30 SAST, the euro slipped 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.0828, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8576.

ECONOMIC UPDATES

  • In the UK, the S&P Global services PMI fell to a level of 53.10 in March, more than market expectations for a fall to a level of 53.40. The services PMI had recorded a level of 53.40 in the previous month.
  • In Switzerland, the consumer price index (CPI) unexpectedly recorded a flat reading on a MoM basis in March, compared to a rise of 0.6% recorded in the prior month.
  • In Spain, the HCOB services PMI rose to a level of 56.10 in March, more than market expectations for a rise to a level of 55.50. The HCOB services PMI had recorded a level of 54.70 in the prior month.
  • In France, the HCOB services PMI rose to a level of 48.30 in March, more than market expectations for a rise to a level of 47.80. The HCOB services PMI had recorded a level of 47.80 in the prior month.
  • In Germany, the HCOB services PMI rose to a level of 50.10 in March, more than market expectations for a rise to a level of 49.80. The HCOB services PMI had recorded a level of 49.80 in the prior month.
  • In the eurozone, the HCOB services PMI advanced to a level of 51.50 in March, compared to a level of 51.10 recorded in the previous month. Markets were expecting services PMI to rise to a level of 51.10.
  • In the eurozone, the PPI dropped 1.0% on a MoM basis in February, more than market expectations for a drop of 0.7%. The PPI had recorded a drop of 0.9% in the previous month.
  • In the US, the goods trade deficit narrowed to $91.40bn in February, compared to a deficit of $91.80bn recorded in the previous month.
  • In the US, the number of initial jobless claims rose to a level of 221.00K in the week ended 29 March 2024, more than market expectations for a rise to a level of 214.00K. The number of initial jobless claims had recorded a revised level of 212.00K in the previous week.
  • In Canada, the international merchandise trade surplus widened to C$1.39bn in February, compared to a surplus of C$0.61bn recorded in the previous month.
  • In Australia, the trade surplus narrowed to 7.28bn on a MoM basis in March, compared to a revised surplus of 10.06bn recorded in the previous month.

CORPORATE UPDATES

SOUTH AFRICA

  • Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited (JO: HARJ ): The gold mining company announced that it has concluded a landmark five-year wage agreement in respect of increases to wages and other conditions of service with its five labour unions, being the Coalition (comprising the NUM, UASA and Solidarity), AMCU, and NUMSA. The agreement is for the period 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2029 and will take effect on 1 July 2024.
  • Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited (JO: APNJ ): The pharmaceutical company announced that it has been granted required merger authority approval by the Chinese Authority for previously entered agreements with Sandoz (SIX: SDZ ) AG.
  • Metair (JO: MTAJ ) ropes in specialists to rein in R4.80bn debt pile: Battery and vehicle component maker Metair has deployed the help of specialist debt advisers to help it deal with its R4.80bn debt pile as well as to turn around its Hesto Harnesses business and stabilise Mutlu Akü.

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