Global markets ended mostly lower as US GDP data and European concerns weighed on investor sentiment.
The US economy expanded at an unrevised 3% in the fourth quarter of 2011. The gain, while the strongest since the second quarter of 2008, lagged behind expectations of a 3.2% increase.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20 points, or 0.2%, to 13146. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index lost 2.3 points, or 0.2%, to 1403. The Nasdaq Composite declined 9.6 points, or 0.3%, to 3076.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed 1.3% lower at 260.74. The French CAC 40 index settled 1.4% lower at 3,381.12. The FTSE 100 index dropped 1.2% to 5,742.03. The German DAX 30 index declined 1.8% to 6,875.15.
This morning, Asian stocks diverged, with Tokyo and Hong Kong markets moving off their early-session lows as a strong quarter for regional equities drew to a close.
The Hang Seng Index lost 0.6% after trading down more than 1% for much of the morning, while the Nikkei Stock Average slipped 0.5%, and the South Korean Kospi index lost 0.2%.
On the upside, the Shanghai Composite Index managed to claw back a portion of recent losses to trade up 0.4%, while the Australian S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.2%.
The US dollar is currently trading at 1.34 to the euro, 1.60 to the pound and will buy 82.15 Japanese Yen or 7.70 South African Rand.
THE JSE ended weaker yesterday, amid global risk aversion.
At the close, the JSE all-share index was down 0.41% to 33483.26 points, with platinum shares coming off 2.02%, resources falling 0.69% and gold miners sliding 0.71%. Financials dipped 0.54%, industrials were down 0.18% and banks were 0.8% in the red.
South African bonds remained firm yesterday, after the SARB’s decision to keep the interest rate on hold at 5.5%.
At the close, the R157 bond was at trading 6.800% from its previous close of 6.810%. The R207 was bid at 7.910% and offered at 7.880% from a previous close of 7.910% and the R186 was trading at 8.455% from its close of 8.465%.
Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1664.53/oz and platinum at US$ 1645.15/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 122.73 per barrel.