Economic Indicators 4/5/12



International markets

Global stocks fell yesterday after disappointing news on euro-zone manufacturing activity and US private-sector jobs growth reignited concerns about a global economic slowdown.

This is despite strong Chinese manufacturing data and the HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index propelling earlier global gains, with the latest figures indicating that growth in China is picking up after a respite over the past few months.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 58.27 points, or 0.44%, at 13221.05. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 8.02 points, or 0.57%, at 1397.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 9.30 points, or 0.30%, at 3041.14.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 index ended down 0.4% at 257.39. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index dropped 0.9% to 5758.11, and Germany’s DAX slid 0.7% to 6710.77. France’s CAC-40 index, however, climbed 0.4% to 3226.33, getting a boost from the country’s purchasing managers’ index for April, which climbed slightly from a month earlier while the indicator fell in other euro-zone countries..

This morning most Asian stock markets were lower after disappointing data from Europe and the U.S. revived concerns about the global economic outlook, hurting exporters.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was flat, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.5%. China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.3%, India’s Sensex lost 0.5%, while Singapore Straits Times Index eased 0.1%. Markets in Japan are closed for a holiday

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.31 to the euro, 1.62 to the pound and will buy 80.24 Japanese Yen or 7.73 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The JSE reached a new record level during trade yesterday, lifted by resources following the release of Chinese manufacturing data which, restored confidence in commodity trade.

At the close, the all-share index was up 0.24% to 34482.43 points, with resources gaining 0.6%, while platinum shares slid 1.48% and gold counters lost 0.17%. Financials were flat (0.01%), as were banking stocks (-0.01%) and industrials (0.15%).

South African bonds were firmer yesterday, mainly attributed to a well-subscribed National Treasury auction earlier in the day.

At the close, the benchmark R157 bond was at 6.385% from its previous close of 6.460%. The R207 was trading at 7.480% from a previous close of 7.555% and the R186 was trading at 8.110% from its close of 8.165%.


Oil prices dipped as the weak economic data dampened the demand outlook.

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1643.77/oz and platinum at US$ 1559.25/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 118.33 per barrel.

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