Economic Indicators 18/1/12

Economic Indicators George Chamber

International markets

U.S. markets gained yesterday as investors turned cautious on financial-sector earnings ahead in the wake of a series of mixed results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 60.01 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 12,482.07, the S&P 500 Index climbed 4.58 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 1,293.67 and the Nasdaq Composite added 17.41 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,728.08.

Markets rose in Europe yesterday, as better-than-expected growth data from China and positive economic news from Germany inspired an asset rally.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.9 per cent to end at 253.27. In France, the CAC-40 index gained 1.4 per cent to 3,269.99, in Germany, the DAX 30 index rallied 1.8 per cent to 6,332.93 and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index gained 0.7 per cent to 5,693.95.

Most Asian markets turned this morning, with the material sector leading gains amid pockets of weakness among exporters and financial stocks.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.3 per cent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2 per cent, South Korea’s Kospi Composite fell 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.3 per cent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3 per cent and India’s Sensex was up 0.1 per cent.
The US dollar is currently trading at 1.28 to the euro, 1.53 to the pound and will buy 76.68 Japanese Yen or 8.03 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The JSE ended yesterday at a record close, on a strong commodities performance and the possibility of fresh stimulus in China had also adding to investor sentiment.

The JSE hit an intraday day high of 33,489.91 but eased as the day wore on.

At the close, the JSE all-share index had elevated 0.66 per cent to 33,424.73 points. Platinum stocks jumped 3.70 per cent, resources moved up 1.38 per cent, and gold shares rose    0.96 per cent.    Financials    secured    0.70 per cent,    banks    lifted    0.68 per cent    while industrials ended flat (0.03 per cent).

In the bonds market, the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 6.760 per cent, unchanged from its previous close. The R207 was at 7.970percent from a previous close of 8.000 per cent and the R186 was at 8.520 per cent from its close of 8.530 per cent.


Brent crude oil rose this morning as the dollar weakened and a slew of positive economic indicators, from China to the United States, eased demand concerns triggered by the debt crisis in Europe.
Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1655.28/oz and platinum at US$ 1518.30/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 111.97 per barrel.


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