Economic Indicators 17/5/12



International markets

Global markets gained yesterday after comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel bolstered hopes that Greece would remain in the euro zone, while US stocks rose on encouraging US economic data.

US industrial production posted its fastest growth in more than a year in April, while a rebound in ground-breaking for new US homes last month suggested a recovery in US housing was gaining some traction.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 38.52 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 12670.52. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 6 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 1336.66. The Nasdaq Composite index was up 10.66 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 2904.42.

In Europe, markets ended deep in the red, as worries about Greece’s political uncertainty and position in the euro overshadowed data showing that Germany’s economy grew 0.5 per cent in the first quarter.

However, European stocks struggled yesterday to shake off the fallout from political impasse in Greece.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed 0.6 per cent lower at 245.59. London’s FTSE 100 index fell 0.6 per cent to 5 405.25. In Germany, the DAX 30 index fell 0.3 per cent to 6 384.26, however, French stocks saw a rebound in afternoon trade with the French CAC 40 index ending 0.3 per cent higher to 3 048.67.

Asian stocks mostly gained this morning; after yesterday’s heavy Greece-inspired sell-off that saw South Korean, Australian and Hong Kong markets declining significantly.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.5 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.7 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.4 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average turned positive with a 0.1 per cent gain, but Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index stayed in the red, trading down 0.6 per cent.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.27 to the euro, 1.59 to the pound and will buy 80.32 Japanese Yen or 8.27 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The JSE recovered in line with international markets.

The JSE all-share index was up 0.92 per cent to 33794.72 points, with resources up 0.11 per cent, platinum slightly negative (-0.02 per cent) and gold mining almost unchanged from previous levels (0.02 per cent). Financials ended 0.62 per cent higher, banking stocks gained 1.12 per cent and industrials were up 1.62 per cent.

South African Bonds followed the rand weaker yesterday. The R157 bond was trading at 6.490 per cent, off a worst level of 6.560 per cent, from Tuesday’s close of 6.490 per cent. The R207 was bid at 7.695 per cent and offered at 7.685 per cent from a previous close of 7.690 per cent and the R186 was trading at 8.385 per cent from its close of 8.390 per cent.


Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1550.43/oz and platinum at US$ 1445.75/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 109.73 per barrel.

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