Financial Markets Report: Friday 31 January 2014

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

Highlights

 U.S. stocks rebounded on Thursday as investors welcomed data showing a robust pace of growth in the economy in the final quarter of last year, while upbeat earnings from Facebook Inc. boosted the tech sector. European stock markets rebounded in afternoon action on Thursday, after data showed the U.S. economy grew at a solid pace in the fourth quarter, offsetting worries about Chinese manufacturing data pointing to a slowdown in the sector. In Asia, Japanese stocks advanced in early trade Friday, with the export-oriented market aided in part by easing in the yen against the U.S. dollar.

 The US dollar is currently trading at 1.35 to the euro, 1.65 to the pound and will buy 102.38 Japanese Yen or 11.15 South African Rand.

 Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 243.40/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 384.30/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ $ 107.91 per barrel.

International markets

U.S. stocks rebounded on Thursday as investors welcomed data showing a robust pace of growth in the economy in the final quarter of last year, while upbeat earnings from Facebook Inc. boosted the tech sector. European stock markets rebounded in afternoon action on Thursday, after data showed the U.S. economy grew at a solid pace in the fourth quarter, offsetting worries about Chinese manufacturing data pointing to a slowdown in the sector. In Asia, Japanese stocks advanced in early trade Friday, with the export-oriented market aided in part by easing in the yen against the U.S. dollar.

The S&P 500 closed 1.1% higher to 1 794.19.The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day up 0.7%, at 15 848.61.The Nasdaq Composite was the best-performing index, gaining 1.8%, to 4 123.13. The tech-heavy index recorded its best one-day gain since Oct 10, 2013.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.3% to close at 323.32, partly recovering from a 0.6% loss on Wednesday. The DAX 30 index rose 0.4% to 9 373.48. France’s CAC 40 index picked up 0.6% to 4 180.02 and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index eased 0.1% to 6 538.45.

The Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.7% to 15 116.9, but faced a weekly loss of 1.8%. The broader Topix in early trade was up 0.6%. The S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.2% to 5 177.40, after spending much of the opening minutes on the flat line.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.35 to the euro, 1.65 to the pound and will buy 102.38 Japanese Yen or 11.15 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The JSE closed lower on Thursday as rate-sensitive shares were sold amid concerns that rates could be hiked further after the Reserve Bank’s surprise interest rate hike of 50bps on Wednesday. At the close‚ the All Share index had dropped 0.85% to 45 178.25 points‚ with the blue-chip Top 40 index losing 0.70%.

The shorter-dated R157‚ redeemable in 2015‚ was trading at 7.330% from 6.990% at Wednesday’s close. The trading ranges were quite wide‚ from a low of 6.330% to a high of 7.400%.The middle-dated R207 bond due in 2020 was bid at 8.425% and offered at 8.405% from a previous close of 8.315%. In contrast‚ the longer-dated benchmark R186 due in 2026 was trading at 8.780%‚ unchanged from its previous close.

Commodities

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 243.40/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 384.30/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ $ 107.91 per barrel.

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