Economic Indicators 11/5/12

International markets

Global fell yesterday as borrowing rates climbed for Spain and Italy, signalling lower levels of investor confidence.

In the U.S. the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 97.03 points, at 12 835.06. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the NASDAQ composite average both closed down. The S&P fell 9.14 points, to 1 354.58 and the NASDAQ dropped 11.56, to 2,934.71.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 index closed 0.3% lower at 249.73. The FTSE 100 index closed 0.4% lower to end at 5 530.05. France’s CAC-40 index fell 0.2% to 3 118.65. The DAX 30 index rose 0.5% to 6 475.31.

In Asia this morning, Hong Kong led markets lower over the uncertainty in Europe and Chinese trade figures.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 1%, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.3%, while the Shanghai Composite and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average dropped 0.2% each. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 0.1%.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.30 to the euro, 1.61 to the pound and will buy 79.71 Japanese Yen or 7.97 South African Rand.


Domestic markets

THE JSE closed down yesterday, following European markets.

The JSE all-share index was down 0.34% to 33434.04 points, with industrials shedding 0.81%, banking stocks down 0.74% and financials losing 0.65%. The platinum sector gave up 0.41%. Gold shares, however, climbed 2.49%, while resources gained 0.53%.

South African Bonds followed the rand weaker yesterday. The weaker rand was mainly due to the switching of offshore investor flows from SA to Poland, after the Polish central bank raised its benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points.

At the close, the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 6.520% from Tuesday’s close of 6.480% and Monday’s close of 6.415%. The R207 was bid at 7.685% and offered at 7.665% from a previous close of 7.580% and the R186 was trading at 8.330% from its close of 8.225%.

Commodities

BRENT crude oil kept at lower levels, as political uncertainty in the euro zone deepened worries about prospects for fuel demand and rising oil stocks in the United States, and increased production from Saudi Arabia also helped push oil prices.

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1594.07/oz and platinum at US$ 1507.00/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 113.00 per barrel.

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