Economic Indicators 31/7/12

International markets

U.S. stocks posted steep gains for a second day Friday, reclaiming a weekly advance as investors anticipated moves by the European Central Bank as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve. European stock markets moved cautiously higher on Friday, underpinned by well- received results for banks, autos and the energy sector. Markets extended prior-day gains driven by euro-supportive comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. Asian stocks staged a broad-based advance this morning, extending gains made at the end of last week, as European leaders signalled that they are prepared to take stronger action to curb the region’s debt crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 187.73 points, or 1.5 per cent, to 13 075.66, its first close above 13,000 since 7 May. The S&P 500 index added 25.95 points, or 1.9 per cent, to 1 385.97, extending gains into a second session. The Nasdaq Composite gained 64.84 points, or 2.2 per cent, to 2 958.09.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.2 per cent to 257.12. The French CAC 40 index rose 0.4 per cent to 3 218.65. The FTSE 100 index lifted 0.2 per cent to 5 586.01. The German DAX 30 index rose 0.3 per cent to 6 604.47.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.8 per cent, as did South Korea’s Kospi, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 0.9 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.4 per cent, though the Shanghai Composite Index moved against the regional trend, edging down 0.4 per cent.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.22 to the euro, 1.56 to the pound and will buy 78.32 Japanese Yen or 8.17 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The JSE all-share index closed up 382 points, or 1.11 per cent, at 34 671 points on Friday.

The benchmark R157 bond was trading at 5.370 per cent from Thursday’s close of 5.350 per cent and Wednesday’s close of 5.380 per cent. The R207 was trading at 6.400 per cent‚ the same as its previous close and the R186 was trading at 7.230 per cent from its previous close of 7.250 per cent.

Commodities

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 618.50/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 404.00/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 106.47 per barrel.

 

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