Economic Indicators 23/1/12

George Chamber Economic Indicators

International markets

U.S. stocks closed near a six-month high Friday, extending gains into a third week. Most European stocks edged lower Friday, snapping a four-session run of gains, as investors lost patience with Greek debt negotiations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Friday up 96.50 points, or 0.8 per cent, at 12 720.48, extending its advance into a fourth day and its weekly gain to 2.4 per cent. That was its highest close since July 21. The S&P 500 Index closed up 0.9 point, or 0.1 per cent, at 1 315.38 — its highest close since July 26. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.63 point, or 0.1 per cent, to 2 786.70, breaking a three-day winning streak. It rallied 2.8 per cent this week.

The Stoxx 600 closed 0.3 per cent lower at 255.85, ending with a weekly gain of 2.7 per cent. The British FTSE 100 fell 0.2 per cent to 5 728.55 and the French CAC 40 index was down 0.2 per cent at 3 321.50. The German DAX 30 index was down 0.2 per cent to 6 404.39.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.9 per cent to 20 111.84, ending above the 20,000- point level for the first time since November 9, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average added 1.5 per cent to 8 766.36. Both benchmarks rose for a fourth straight trading day. China’s Shanghai Composite added 1 per cent to 2 319.12, South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.8 per cent to 1 949.89 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 0.6 per cent to 4 239.60.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.28 to the euro, 1.55 to the pound and will buy 77.03 Japanese Yen or 7.95 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The JSE hit another intraday high on Friday at 33 721.32.

The JSE all-share index had gained 0.35 per cent to close at 33 703.38 points and consequently another record close. Gold stocks dropped 1.92 per cent, while platinums lifted 2.24 per cent and resources added 0.23 per cent. Banks generated 0.60 per cent, financials acquired 0.55 per cent and industrials were 0.43 per cent.

By the close of day, the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 6.610 per cent, from its previous close of 6.670 per cent. The R207 was trading at 7.840 per cent from a previous close of 7.880 per cent and the R186 was trading at 8.360 per cent from its close of 8.425 per cent.


Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 663.70/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 533.30/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 109.51 per barrel.


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