Daily Financial Markets Report: Tuesday 28 January 2014

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

Highlights

 U.S. stocks ended Monday lower in a volatile session as worries over emerging-markets currencies unsettled investors. Stocks began the day on a higher note following upbeat results from Caterpillar, but fell after home sales data showed a larger drop in December than anticipated. European stock markets moved sharply lower on Monday after weaker-than-expected U.S. home-sales data and as continued uncertainty about growth in emerging markets triggered a flight out of riskier assets such as equities. In Asia, Hong Kong stocks seesawed between small gains and losses this morning, still under pressure amid worries of an outflow of funds from emerging markets and a slowdown of China’s economic growth. Japanese stocks straddled the flatline, as the benchmark index gave up the modest gain it logged at the open.

 The US dollar is currently trading at 1.38 to the euro, 1.66 to the pound and will buy 102.62 Japanese Yen or 11.01 South African Rand.

 Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 263.60/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 422.20/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ $ 106.69 per barrel.

International markets

U.S. stocks ended Monday lower in a volatile session as worries over emerging-markets currencies unsettled investors. Stocks began the day on a higher note following upbeat results from Caterpillar, but fell after home sales data showed a larger drop in December than anticipated. European stock markets moved sharply lower on Monday after weaker-than-expected U.S. home-sales data and as continued uncertainty about growth in emerging markets triggered a flight out of riskier assets such as equities. In Asia, Hong Kong stocks seesawed between small gains and losses this morning, still under pressure amid worries of an outflow of funds from emerging markets and a slowdown of China’s economic growth. Japanese stocks straddled the flatline, as the benchmark index gave up the modest gain it logged at the open.

The S&P 500 ended the session 0.5%, lower at 1 781.56, after briefly venturing into positive territory in late trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down for the fifth-straight session. The blue-chip index opened higher, but closed 0.3%, lower at 15 837.88. The Nasdaq Composite was the worst performing index on Monday. The tech-heavy index lost 1.1%, to 4 083.61. Read the recap of the stock market live blog.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 0.8% to end at 322.02, marking the lowest closing level since Dec. 20. The DAX 30 index, gave up 0.5% to 9 349.22. Elsewhere, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index slid 1.7% to 6 550.66, and France’s CAC 40 index dropped 0.4% to 4 144.56.

The Hang Seng Index stayed relatively flat at 21 983.71. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index tacked on 0.5% to 2 043.67. The Nikkei Stock Average was up 1 point at 15 007.30, but the broader Topix clung to a 0.2% advance. The S&P/ASX 200 retreated 1.2% to 5 178.20, with the resource shares among the hardest hit after gold futures fell and copper traded at a seven-week low.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.38 to the euro, 1.66 to the pound and will buy 102.62 Japanese Yen or 11.01 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The JSE closed at a two-week low on Monday‚ as the flight from emerging markets gathered momentum‚ ahead of the US Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting‚ where expectations point to another $10bn cut in its monetary easing programme. The All Share index had dropped 1.53% at 45 750.70 points.

The benchmark R186 was trading at 8.635% from its previous close of 8.550% on Friday. The R157 was trading at 6.500% from 6.460% at its previous close‚ while the R207 was bid at 8.030% and offered at 8.015% from a close of 7.900%.

Commodities

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 263.60/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 422.20/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ $ 106.69 per barrel.

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