Economic Indicators 3/7/12

 

International markets

Global markets trimmed sharp declines yesterday to finish modestly lower as optimism about possible aid to debt-strapped European countries cut into losses that followed another weak round of U.S. economic data and the Supreme Court’s health-care decision.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 24.75 points, or 0.2 per cent, to close at 12602.26. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index declined 2.81 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 1329.04, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 25.83 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 2849.49.

Banking shares dragged European stock markets lower yesterday amid growing concern over a probe into the alleged manipulation of benchmark interest rates and as investors fretted about the latest euro-zone summit.

The benchmark Stoxx 600 index dropped 0.5 per cent to 244.67, led lower by a fall in bank stocks, and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 ended down 0.6 per cent at 5493.06,. Germany’s DAX fell 1.3 per cent to 6149.91 and France’s CAC-40 ended 0.4 per cent lower at 3051.68.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.9 per cent ahead of a three-day weekend, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average shot up 1.4 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7 per cent, India’s Sensex rallied 2 per cent, South Korea’s Kospi climbed1.2 per cent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.3 per cent, and Taiwan’s Taiex advanced 1.4 per cent.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.26 to the euro, 1.56 to the pound and will buy 79.37 Japanese Yen or 8.31 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The JSE ended weaker yesterday‚ as pressure on Platinum shares weighed on the all-share index.

At the close‚ the JSE all-share index was down 1.47 per cent at 33252.55 points‚ with resources losing 1.06 per cent‚ gold shares sliding 1.18 per cent and platinum counters dropping 1.78 per cent. Financials lost 1.48 per cent‚ banking stocks were down 2.35 per cent and industrials were 1.68 per cent in the red.

The longer dated higher yielding bonds firmed yesterday on the back of mainly foreign demand.

The R157 bond was trading at 5,985 per cent from Wednesday’s close of 6,010 per cent and Tuesday’s close of 6,060 per cent.The R207 was bid at 7,140 per cent and offered at 7,125 per cent from a previous close of 7,170 per cent and the R186 was trading at 7,945 per cent from its previous close of 8,010 per cent.

Commodities

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 566.67/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 390.50/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 92.97 per barrel.

 

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