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Market Review, Commodities, Currencies, Economic & Corporate Update - 25.03.24

Published 2024/03/25, 09:15
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SOUTH AFRICA MARKET REVIEW

  • South African markets closed in the green on Friday, buoyed by gains in precious metal stocks.
  • Gold miners, Sibanye Stillwater (JO:SSWJ), Gold Fields (JO:GFIJ), AngloGold Ashanti (JO:ANGJ) and Harmony Gold Mining Company (JO:HARJ) edged down 11.9%, 5.3%, 2.8% and 1.1%, respectively.
  • Platinum mining companies, Impala Platinum Holdings (JO:IMPJ), Anglo American Platinum (JO:AMSJ) and Northam Platinum (JO:NPHJ) shed 10.9%, 8.1% and 3.8%, respectively.
  • Telecommunications companies, MTN Group (JO:MTNJ), Telkom SA SOC (JO:TKGJ) and Blue Label Telecoms (JO:BLUJ) gained 7.4%, 4.8% and 4.4%, respectively.
  • Chemical companies, AECI (JO:AFEJ) and Omnia Holdings (JO:OMNJ) advanced 1.7% and 0.8%, respectively.
  • On the contrary, property sector stocks, Delta Property Fund (JO:DLTJ), Emira Property Fund (JO:EMIJ) and Hyprop Investments (JO:HYPJ) shed 12.5%, 3.4% and 1.3%, respectively.
  • The JSE All Share index advanced 1.2% to close at 73,254.19.

UK MARKET REVIEW

  • The UK market finished firmer on Friday, tracking global peers as investors assessed a slowdown in the US inflation.
  • Insurance company, Phoenix Group Holdings (LON:PHNX) jumped 8.4%, after the company reported upbeat earnings in FY23.
  • Peers, Prudential (LON:PRU), Legal & General Group (LON:LGEN) and Aviva (LON:AV) gained 2.6%, 1.4% and 1.0%, respectively.
  • Banks, NatWest Group (LON:NWG) and Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) added 3.0% and 1.3%, respectively.
  • Consumer goods companies, Reckitt Benckiser Group (LON:PSN) and Unilever (LON:ULVR) advanced 2.5% and 1.8%, respectively.
  • Pharmaceutical companies, Hikma Pharmaceuticals (LON:HIK), GSK (LON:GSK) and AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) rose 2.2%, 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively.
  • On the flipside, retailers, JD Sports Fashion (LON:JD), Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) and Tesco (LON:TSCO) shed 6.3%, 1.2% and 0.8%, respectively.
  • The FTSE 100 index rose 0.6% to close at 7,930.92.

US MARKET REVIEW

  • US markets ended mostly lower on Friday, amid domestic corporate updates.
  • Sportswear company, Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) plunged 15.8%, after the company forecast lower than expected annual revenue and profit.
  • Peer, Nike (NYSE:NKE) shed 6.9%, after the company anticipates drop in the first half sales for fiscal 2025.
  • Media and entertainment companies, Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA) and Warner Bros Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD) declined 4.8% and 3.2%, respectively.
  • On the other hand, e-commerce and business services company, FedEx (NYSE:FDX) surged 7.4%, after the company reported higher quarterly profits.
  • The S&P 500 index eased 0.1% to settle at 5,234.18, while the DJIA index declined 0.8% to close at 39,475.90.
  • The NASDAQ index advanced 0.2% to end the trading session at 16,428.82.

ASIA MARKET REVIEW

  • Asian markets are trading mostly lower this morning, amid currency invention concerns.
  • In Japan, aerospace company, Kawasaki Heavy Industries (TYO:7012) has gained 2.0%
  • On the contrary, property company, Mitsubishi Estate (TYO:8802) has shed 3.1%.
  • In Hong Kong, pharmaceutical company, WuXi AppTec Company (HK:2359) has surged 7.7%.
  • On the flipside, automobile company, Geely Automobile Holdings (HK:0175) has declined 3.2%.
  • In South Korea, shipping company, Pan Ocean Company (KS:028670) has dropped 4.5%.
  • On the other hand, apparel company, HansaeMK Company (KS:105630) has jumped 12.5%.
  • The Nikkei 225 index is trading 0.7% lower at 40,621.24.
  • The Hang Seng index has advanced 0.6% to trade at 16,595.01, while the Kospi index is trading 0.5% lower at 2,734.99.

COMMODITIES

  • At 05:30 SAST today, Brent prices rose 0.7% to trade at $86.01/bl, amid supply constraints.
  • On Friday, Brent prices fell 0.4% to settle at $85.43/bl, amid possibility of a ceasefire in Gaza. Additionally, the Baker Hughes reported that the US oil rigs count fell by 1 to 509 in the week ended 22 March 2024.
  • At 05:30 SAST today, gold prices advanced 0.4% to trade at $2,173.64/oz. On Friday, gold declined 0.8% to close at $2,164.15/oz, as a stronger dollar dented demand for the safe haven yellow metal.
  • On Friday, copper declined 1.5% to close at $8,740.65/mt. Aluminium closed 0.1% higher at $2,301.06/mt.

CURRENCIES

  • On Friday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds were mixed on Friday. The yield on the 2030 bond remained unchanged at 10.68%, while that for the longer-dated 2040 issue rose to 13.15%.
  • At 05:30 SAST, the US dollar is trading 0.3% lower against the South African rand at R18.933, while the euro is trading 0.3% lower at R20.4851. At 05:30 SAST, the British pound has declined 0.3% against the South African rand to trade at R23.8807.
  • On Friday, the euro mostly declined against most of the major currencies. In Germany, the Ifo business sentiment rose more than expected in March. Further, both, current conditions and expectations index advanced in March. In the UK, retail sales were flat in February, as poor weather led to a reduction in footfall.
  • At 05:30 SAST, the euro advanced 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.0817, while it has slightly weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8578.

ECONOMIC UPDATES

  • In the UK, retail sales recorded a flat reading on a MoM basis in February, compared to a revised rise of 3.6% in the prior month. Market anticipations were for retail sales to drop 0.3%.
  • In Germany, the Ifo business climate index advanced to a level of 87.80 in March, compared to a revised reading of 85.70 in the prior month. Market expectations were for the Ifo business climate index to advance to a level of 86.00.
  • In Germany, the Ifo business expectations index climbed more than expected to a level of 87.50 in March, compared to a revised reading of 84.40 in the prior month.
  • In Germany, the Ifo current assessment index registered an unexpected rise to a level of 88.10 in March, compared to a level of 86.90 in the prior month.
  • In Canada, retail sales eased 0.3% on a MoM basis in January, less than market expectations for a fall of 0.4%. Retail sales had advanced 0.9% in the prior month.

CORPORATE UPDATES

SOUTH AFRICA

  • Telkom SA SOC Limited (JO:TKGJ): The telecommunications company announced that it has entered into a sale agreement with an entity incorporated by the Consortium for the purpose of the acquisition and comprising: (i) an infrastructure fund managed by a subsidiary of Actis LLP and (ii) a vehicle owned by Royal Bafokeng Holdings Proprietary Limited as its BEE partner, in connection with the proposed disposal by Telkom to such acquisition vehicle of all of its shares (comprising 100% of the issued shares) in, and all or part of its claims on loan account against, Swiftnet.
  • Exxaro (JO:EXXJ) and Thungela’s (JO:TGAJ) JV in peril after water use licence dispute: The future of Mafube Coal, a thermal coal mine jointly owned by Exxaro and Thungela, is in jeopardy after the department of water & sanitation declined its integrated water use licence to extend the discard facility at the complex. The joint venture has warned that, unless set aside, the decision will make it impossible to continue with mining activities.

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