U.S. stocks ended with mild gains yesterday after a news report that Greece had drafted a new financing deal with the European Union and International Monetary Fund but European stock markets erased early gains to close lower as an agreement on a second Greek rescue had yet to materialize. Asian shares fell this morning, pressured by a stronger-than-expected reading on Chinese consumer inflation, uncertainty over on-going Greek debt negotiations and weak data from Japan.
After veering between gains and losses, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a 5.75-point gain at 12 883.95. The S&P 500 Index added 2.91 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 1 349.96. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 11.78 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2 915.86.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 0.2 per cent to close at 263.01, after trading as high as 265.24 earlier in the session. The British FTSE 100 index closed 0.2 per cent lower at 5 875.93. However, the DAX 30 index settled 0.1 per cent lower at 6 748.76. The CAC 40 index fell 0.1 per cent to 3 410.00.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite Index moved down 0.3 per cent after data showed that Chinese consumer prices rose 4.5 per cent in January from a year earlier, a pace well above economists forecast for 4.1 per cent rise. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.8 per cent, South Korea’s Kospi fell 1 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 1 per cent.
The US dollar is currently trading at 1.32 to the euro, 1.58 to the pound and will buy 77.16 Japanese Yen or 7.55 South African Rand.
The JSE all-share index was up 0.74 per cent to 34 226.73 points, with the resource counters rallying 1.10 per cent, while gold index added 1.37 per cent and platinum shares rose 0.54 per cent. Industrials lifted 0.52 per cent, financials climbed 0.59 per cent, and banks gained 0.46 per cent.
By close of day, the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 6.500 per cent, from its previous close of 6.520 per cent. The R207 was bid at 7.710 per cent and offered at 7.680 per cent from a previous close of 7.700 per cent and the R186 was bid at 8.180 per cent and offered at 8.150 per cent from its close of 8.150 per cent.
Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 732.90/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 665.30/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 117.20 per barrel.