Market Review, Commodities, Currencies, Economic & Corporate Update - 07.03.24

  • Market Overview

SOUTH AFRICA MARKET REVIEW

  • South African markets closed in the green yesterday, as better than expected US jobs data boosted investor sentiment.
  • Platinum miners, Impala Platinum (JO: IMPJ ), Northam Platinum (JO: NPHJ ) and Anglo American Platinum (JO: AMSJ ) jumped 6.7%, 3.5% and 3.0%, respectively.
  • Telecommunications company, Vodacom Group (JO: VODJ ), MTN Group (JO: MTNJ ) and Telkom SA SOC (JO: TKGJ ) advanced 5.1%, 4.3% and 1.3%, respectively.
  • Diversified miners, Anglo American (JO: AGLJ ), African Rainbow Minerals (JO: ARIJ ), Kumba Iron Ore (JO: KIOJ ) and Exxaro Resources (JO: EXXJ ) gained 4.5%, 2.6%, 2.0% and 1.3%, respectively.
  • Lenders, FirstRand (JO: FSRJ ), Capitec Bank Holdings (JO: CPIJ ) and Standard Bank Group (JO: SBKJ ) rose 3.7%, 2.6% and 0.8%, respectively.
  • On the flipside, food companies, RCL Foods (JO: RCLJ ) and Astral Foods (JO: ARLJ ) declined 2.9% and 1.3%, respectively.
  • The JSE All Share index advanced 1.8% to close at 73,578.19.

UK MARKET REVIEW

  • The UK market finished firmer yesterday, following British Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt's pre-election budget that revealed tax cuts and also forecasted annual economic growth of 0.8%.
  • Food company, Premier Foods (LON: PFD ) surged 11.5%, after the company entered into an agreement with RHM Pension Scheme Trustee to suspend pension deficit payments from April.
  • Medical products and technologies company, ConvaTec Group (LON: CTEC ) jumped 6.1%, after the company raised its mid-term revenue growth forecast.
  • Energy companies, BP (LON: BP ) and Shell (LON: RDSa ) advanced 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively. Retailers, B&M European Value Retail SA (LON: BMEB ), Tesco (LON: TSCO ) and Next (LON: NXT ) gained 1.6%, 1.5% and 1.4%, respectively.
  • On the other hand, paper and packaging companies, Smurfit kappa Group (LON: SKG ) and DS Smith (LON: SMDS ) shed 2.5% and 1.4%, respectively.
  • The FTSE 100 index advanced 0.4% to close at 7,679.31.

US MARKET REVIEW

  • US markets ended higher yesterday, as US Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell’s comments raised expectations for rates cuts this year.
  • Pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ), Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA ) and Merck & Company (NYSE: MRK ) advanced 4.3%, 2.7% and 0.8%, respectively.
  • Technology companies, HP (NYSE: HPQ ), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ), International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM ) and Salesforce (NYSE: CRM ) gained 3.8%, 3.1%, 2.2% and 1.7%, respectively.
  • Media and entertainment companies, Warner Bros Discovery (NASDAQ: WBD ) and Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA ) rose 3.3% and 1.8%, respectively.
  • Financial services companies, American Express (NYSE: AXP ) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) added 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively.
  • The S&P 500 index rose 0.5% to settle at 5,104.76, while the DJIA index advanced 0.2% to close at 38,661.05.
  • The NASDAQ index climbed 0.6% to end the trading session at 16,031.54.

ASIA MARKET REVIEW

  • Asian markets are trading lower this morning.
  • In Japan, automobile company, Mitsubishi Motors (TYO: 7211 ) has declined 3.3%.
  • On the flipside, financial services company, Resona Holdings (TYO: 8308 ) has gained 2.4%.
  • In Hong Kong, insurance company, Ping An Insurance (HK: 2318 ) has advanced 2.8%.
  • On the other hand, sports products company, Anta Sports Products (HK: 2020 ) has shed 3.5%.
  • In South Korea, chemicals company, Hannong Chemicals (KS: 011500 ) has surged 10.6%.
  • On the contrary, software company, DuzonBizon has dropped 5.9%.
  • The Nikkei 225 index is trading 0.9% lower at 39,731.17.
  • The Hang Seng index has eased 0.1% to trade at 16,417.78, while the Kospi index is trading 0.1% lower at 2,637.74.

COMMODITIES

  • At 05:30 SAST today, Brent prices fell 0.1% to trade at $82.91/bl.
  • Yesterday, Brent prices rose 1.1% to settle at $82.96/bl, following a rise in the US crude inventories. Moreover, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the US crude inventories advanced by 1.37mn bls in the week ended 1 March 2024.
  • At 05:30 SAST today, gold prices advanced 0.1% to trade at $2,150.73/oz. Yesterday, gold gained 1.0% to close at $2,148.29/oz, as a weaker dollar boosted demand for the safe haven yellow metal.
  • Yesterday, copper rose 1.0% to close at $8,484.10/mt. Aluminium closed 0.1% higher at $2,233.82/mt.

CURRENCIES

  • Yesterday, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar. In the US, the ADP employment increased less than expected in February. Meanwhile, the JOLTS job openings declined in January.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds remained unchanged yesterday. The yield on the 2030 bond stood at 10.10%, while the longer-dated 2040 issue stood at 12.42%.
  • At 05:30 SAST, the US dollar is trading slightly higher against the South African rand at R18.8325, while the euro is trading marginally higher at R20.5200. At 05:30 SAST, the British pound has gained slightly against the South African rand to trade at R23.9716.
  • Yesterday, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies. In the eurozone, retail sales rose in January.
  • At 05:30 SAST, the euro marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.0897, while it has slightly weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8561.

ECONOMIC UPDATES

  • In the UK, the S&P Global construction PMI rose to a level of 49.70 in February, more than market expectations for a rise to a level of 49.00. The construction PMI had recorded a level of 48.80 in the prior month.
  • In Germany, seasonally adjusted trade surplus unexpectedly widened to EUR27.50bn in January, compared to a revised surplus of EUR23.30bn in the prior month.
  • In the eurozone, retail sales climbed 0.1% on a MoM basis in January, in line with market expectations and compared to a revised drop of 0.6% recorded in the prior month.
  • In the US, the MBA mortgage applications rose 9.7% in the week ended 1 March 2024, compared to drop of 5.6% recorded in the previous week.
  • In the US, the ADP employment rose 140.00K in February, less than market expectations and compared to a revised rise of 111.00K jobs in the previous month.
  • In the US, the JOLTS job openings fell to 8.86mn in January, more than market expectations for a drop to 8.90mn. The JOLTS job openings had recorded a level of 9.03mn in the prior month.
  • The Bank of Canada (BoC) kept its key interest rate unchanged at 5.0%, in line with market expectations.
  • In Canada, seasonally adjusted Ivey PMI declined to a level of 53.90 in February, compared to a level of 56.50 recorded in the previous month.
  • In China, trade surplus widened more than expected to $125.16bn in February, compared to a level of $75.34bn recorded in the prior month.
  • In Australia, trade surplus widened to A$11.03bn on a MoM basis in February, compared to a revised surplus of A$10.74bn recorded in the previous month.

CORPORATE UPDATES

SOUTH AFRICA

  • ADvTECH Limited (JO: ADHJ ): The education company, in its FY23 trading update, revealed that it expects basic EPS to be 14.0% to 19.0%, higher as compared with 148.60c recorded in the previous year. Also, it expects HEPS to be 16% to 21%, higher as compared with 146.50c recorded in the previous year.
  • Brimstone Investment Corporation Limited (JO: BRTJ ): The investment company, in its annual results, indicated that revenue rose to R6.53bn from R5.21bn posted in the previous year. Its diluted EPS increased 54.0% from the prior year to 116.60c.
  • Murray & Roberts Holdings Limited (JO: MURJ ): The engineering and mining company, in its 1H24 results, reported that revenue advanced 11.3% from the same period of the preceding year to R6.56bn. Its diluted loss per share stood at 13.00c, compared with 26.00c recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year.
  • Jubilee Metals unveils separate boards for SA and Zambia operations: Diversified metals processor Jubilee Metals has appointed dedicated executive boards for its operations in SA and Zambia, to “better reflect the current levels of maturity” of its operations in the countries.

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