U.S. markets fell yesterday as a string of positive economic reports dimmed hopes that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would announce new stimulus today.
The Nasdaq lost 1.05 per cent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.81 per cent and the S&P 500 dropped 0.78 per cent.
A report that the U.S. economy grew slightly faster than initially reported as well as signals that the housing market is recovery is damping expectations that Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke will come out strong on support for new economic stimulus during his Jackson Hole speech today.
European markets finished broadly lower yesterday with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is down 1.64 per cent while France’s CAC 40 is off 1.02 per cent and London’s FTSE 100 is lower by 0.42 per cent.
Yesterday, Asian markets ended lower yesterday. The Shanghai Composite was flat, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.2 per cent, and Japan’s Nikkei fell 1 per cent.
This morning, Asian markets are lower today as Chinese and Hong Kong shares fell. The Shanghai Composite is off 0.13 per cent while the Hang Seng is down 0.35 per cent. The Nikkei 225 is not trading yet.
The US dollar is currently trading at 1.25 to the euro, 1.58 to the pound and will buy 78.44 Japanese Yen or 8.48 South African Rand.
The JSE fell broadly yesterday to close down as market participants cleared their positions ahead of the Jackson Hole event today.
General mining shares in particular came under heavy selling pressure‚ mainly due to lower commodity prices as a result of signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy.
At the close‚ the JSE all-share index was down 1.20 per cent to 35 307.35 points‚ platinum miners lost 3.09 per cent‚ resources dropped 2.33 per cent and the gold index shed 1.50 per cent..
South African bonds were firm yesterday despite a weaker rand and a R57.5bn July fiscal deficit.
At the close‚ the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 5.470 per cent‚ from 5.510 per cent at Wednesday’s close. The R207 was bid at 6.580 per cent and offered at 6.560 per cent from Wednesday’s close of 6.610 per cent‚ and the R186 was trading at 7.440 per cent from 7.505 per cent.
World oil prices fell slightly yesterday as investors nervously awaited today’s crucial speech from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.
Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1655.60/oz and platinum at US$ 1501.87/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 112.72 per barrel.