Economic Indicators 15/3/12

George Chamber Economic Indicators

International markets

US markets traded mixed yesterday, holding onto most of the gains made in Tuesday’s huge bank-driven rally.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 16.42 points to 13 219.10. The S&P 500 gave up 1.67 points to 1 394.287, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.85% to 3 040.73.

Financials led European stock markets higher yesterday after a broadly positive stress-test result for U.S. banks and upbeat comments from the Federal Reserve, while borrowing costs fell at an Italian debt auction.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.3% to 270.27. The FTSE 100 index closed 0.2% lower at 5,945.43. In Paris, The CAC 40 index was up 0.4% at 3,564.51 and the lift the DAX 30 index gained 1.2% to 7,079.42.

This morning Asian stock markets were mixed as concerns that China would retain property- market curbs this year unsettled investors, while the U.S. dollar continued to rise broadly and Japanese exporters’ shares extended recent gains boosted by a weaker yen.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was recently up 1%, around an eight-month high, and South Korea’s Kospi Composite was a bare 0.1% higher. But India’s Sensex was down 0.3%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was 0.2% lower and China’s Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 finished with a loss of 0.2%.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.33 to the euro, 1.59 to the pound and will buy 81.02 Japanese Yen or 7.67 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

South African stocks rose for a second straight day on Wednesday as a slightly brighter outlook for the US economy from the US Federal Reserve.

At the close, the JSE all-share index was up 0.74% at 34426.74 points. Platinum miners were up 1.22%, banks gained 1.15%, and industrials added 0.95%. Financials ended 0.95% higher and resources gained 0.36%. Gold miners, however, gave up 2.12% due to a move out of safe havens onto riskier assets.

South African bonds were weaker yesterday, largely on the back of the weaker rand.
At the close, the benchmark R157 bond was bid at 6.790% and offered at 6.780% from its close of 6.660%. The R207 was bid at 7.885% and offered at 7.875% from a previous close of 7.740% and the R186 was bid at 8.410% and offered at 8.380% from its close of 8.265%.


Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1647.45/oz. and platinum at US$ 1669.48/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 124.32 per barrel.


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