Economic Indicators 7/8/12

International markets

U.S. stocks surged Friday, with the Dow extending its longest weekly winning streak of 2012, after July jobs data beat expectations and investors found reason for cheer on Europe. Banks led European stocks in an end-of-week rally Friday, rebounding from a sharp selloff a day earlier in the wake of disappointment with the European Central Bank. Asian shares climbed this morning, joining in a global stock rally triggered by stronger U.S. economic data and optimism for progress in Europe.

Tallying its fourth weekly rise, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 217.29 points, or 1.7 per cent, to 13 096.17, up 0.2 per cent from last Friday’s close. Also extending its winning run into a fourth week, and up 0.4 per cent from last Friday’s close, the S&P 500 index climbed 25.99 points, or 1.9 per cent, to 1 390.99, with the financial sector the strongest performer and telecommunications the weakest of its 10 major industry groups. The Nasdaq Composite added 58.13 points, or 2 per cent, to 2 967.90, a level that left it with a 0.3 per cent rise for the week.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 2.4 per cent to close at 265.58 on Friday, the highest closing level since early April. On a weekly basis, the index closed higher for a ninth consecutive week, up 2.2 per cent. The German DAX 30 index increased by 3.9 per cent to 6 865.66. The CAC 40 jumped 4.4 per cent to 3 374.19. In the U.K., resource firms and banks provided support to the FTSE 100 index gained 2.2 per cent to 5 787.28, 2.8 per cent higher compared with last week.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average jumped 1.8 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi lifted 2 per cent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 1.2 per cent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged 2 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index, however, was again an outlier, rising just 0.4 per cent amid on-going questions over the strength of the Chinese economy.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.22 to the euro, 1.55 to the pound and will buy 78.35 Japanese Yen or 8.14 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

South African equities record all-time highs on Friday, rising 0.79 per cent as better-than- expected U.S. jobs data boosted appetite for riskier assets.

The JSE All Share index gained 211.13 points or 0.70 per cent to close at 35 244.22 points with just over 187.74-million shares changing hands in 96 389 deals worth more than R10.58-billion. Market breadth was positive with advancing shares leading those declining by 228 to 132. The Top 40 index moved 0.53 per cent higher, while the Resource 20 Index edged 0.06 per cent higher. The Gold Mining Index lost 1.36 per cent but the Platinum Mining Index climbed 0.58 per cent higher. The Financial Index surged 2.10 per cent higher, while the Industrial 25 index gained 0.38 per cent.

At the close, the R157 bond yield was trading at 5.435 per cent from Thursday’s close of 5.530 per cent. The R207 was at 6.420 per cent from its previous close of 6.485 per cent and the R186 was trading at 7.250 per cent from its previous close of 7.360 per cent.

Commodities

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 604.90/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 403.00/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 108.94 per barrel.

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