Global markets fell last week amid mounting concerns about global economic growth and corporate earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended little changed, while the S&P 500 lost 0.3 per cent. The Nasdaq declined 0.2 per cent.
European markets finished lower on Friday with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is down 0.72 per cent while Germany’s DAX ended down 0.68 per cent and London’s FTSE 100 is lower by 0.62 per cent.
Asian markets are lower today as Chinese and Hong Kong shares fell. The Shanghai Composite is off 0.60 per cent while the Hang Seng is down 0.03 per cent. The Nikkei 225 closed down 047 per cent.
The US dollar is currently trading at 1.29 to the euro, 1.60 to the pound and will buy 78.53 Japanese Yen or 8.79 South African Rand.
LOCAL markets are expected to be under pressure this week after Standard & Poor’s (S&P) unexpectedly downgraded South Africa’s sovereign credit rating on Friday and warned that strikes in the mining sector are likely to threaten the country’s economic policy framework.
S&P kept a negative outlook on its BBB rating for South Africa, saying that “the political, economic and fiscal ramifications of South Africa’s social tensions could deteriorate” beyond its expectations.
Prior to the credit report, the SA share market pared losses in late trade on Friday‚ tracking a positive open on Wall Street‚ which was inspired by a set of upbeat US economic data.
At the close‚ the JSE all-share index ended 0.16 per cent lower at 36 440.05 points‚ with the top-40 index slipping 0.24 per cent at 32 276.07.
The South African bond market was firmer on Friday despite a poor inflation-linked bonds (ILB) auction when only R515m was bid for the R800m on offer compared with R690m last week. The Treasury allotted R100m of I2025 bonds‚ R95m of I2038 bonds and R150m of I2050 bonds.
The benchmark R157 bond was trading at 5.360 per cent from 5.410 per cent at Thursday’s close and 5.380 per cent at Wednesday’s close. The R207 was bid at 6.555 per cent and offered at 6.545 per cent from its previous close of 6.600 per cent‚ and the R186 was trading at 7.690 per cent from 7.745 per cent at its previous close.
Oil was down in Asia after the International Energy Agency cut its global crude demand growth forecast for this year and next and data showed rising US stockpiles.
Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1743.45/oz and platinum at US$ 1637.25/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 114.04 per barrel.