Daily Financial Markets Report Thursday 23 January 2014

sacciDaily Financial Markets Report sources information from Business Day, Reuters, JSE Ltd and others.

Highlights

 U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on Wednesday after trading in a narrow range for the bulk of the session. Europe’s benchmark stock index logged a small gain on Wednesday as investors speculated about the potential for an interest-rate hike after better-than-expected U.K. jobs data. Hong Kong stocks extended losses in early trade this morning, after a preliminary reading of January’s China manufacturing activity from HSBC fell to 49.6, marking the first contraction in six months. Japanese stocks advanced in early this morning trading, with tech shares enjoying gains after a modest fall in the yen overnight.

 Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 235.20/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 451.30/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 107.98 per barrel.

 The US dollar is currently trading at 1.35 to the euro, 1.65 to the pound and will buy 104.33 Japanese Yen or 10.85 South African Rand.

International markets

U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on Wednesday after trading in a narrow range for the bulk of the session. Europe’s benchmark stock index logged a small gain on Wednesday as investors speculated about the potential for an interest-rate hike after better-than-expected U.K. jobs data. Hong Kong stocks extended losses in early trade this morning, after a preliminary reading of January’s China manufacturing activity from HSBC fell to 49.6, marking the first contraction in six months. Japanese stocks advanced in early this morning trading, with tech shares enjoying gains after a modest fall in the yen overnight.

The S&P 500 was up 1.06 points at 1 844.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41.10 points, or 0.3%, to 16 373.34, falling for the second day in a row. The Nasdaq Composite was the best performing index, gaining 17.24 points, or 0.4%, to 4 243.00.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index nudged up 0.1% to close at 336.06, in a session marked by seesaw action. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index slipped 0.1% to 6 826.33. Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX 30 index fell 0.1% to 9 720.11 and the French CAC 40 index ended slightly higher at 4 324.98.

The Hang Seng Index opened flat and then traded lower by 1.2% to 22 818.58 after the data. The Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.4% to 15 890.26

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.35 to the euro, 1.65 to the pound and will buy 104.33 Japanese Yen or 10.85 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The Top-40 index closed up 0.16% at 42 262.16. The wider All-share index rose 0.24% to 47 000.95

Commodities

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 235.20/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 451.30/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 107.98 per barrel.

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