Daily Financial Markets Report: Tuesday 25 February 2014

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

Highlights

 U.S. stocks climbed on Monday, boosted by M&A activity, an upbeat German confidence report and bets that the S&P 500’s foray into new high ground could spur further buying. Europe’s benchmark stock index closed at the highest level in six years on Monday, with investors shrugging off earlier worries over tighter credit conditions in China and instead taking a lead from the U.S. where the S&P 500 scored an intraday record. Asian equity markets shook off Monday’s slumber, posting gains this morning thanks to bright signals from the US.

 The US dollar is currently trading at 1.37 to the euro, 1.67 to the pound and will buy 102.54 Japanese Yen or 10.77 South African Rand.

 Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 322.70/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 434.80/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ $ 102.51 per barrel.

International markets

U.S. stocks climbed on Monday, boosted by M&A activity, an upbeat German confidence report and bets that the S&P 500’s foray into new high ground could spur further buying. Europe’s benchmark stock index closed at the highest level in six years on Monday, with investors shrugging off earlier worries over tighter credit conditions in China and instead taking a lead from the U.S. where the S&P 500 scored an intraday record. Asian equity markets shook off Monday’s slumber, posting gains this morning thanks to bright signals from the US.

The S&P 500 had been on pace to score a record closing high but didn’t deliver, with gains erased in the last hour of trading. The benchmark index rose 0.6%, to finish at 1 847.71 — just below its Jan. 15 record close at 1 848.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7%, to end at 16 209.13, led by UnitedHealth Group Inc., which jumped 3%. The Nasdaq added 0.7%, to close at 4 292.97, nabbing its highest close since April 2000.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.6% to end at 338.19, marking the highest close since January 2008. After a volatile session, Germany’s DAX 30 index climbed 0.5% to 9 708.94. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.4% to 6 865.86, and France’s CAC 40 index advanced 0.9% to 4 419.13.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 0.21% at 22 436.16. Japan’s Nikkei advanced 1.18% at 15 012.38. Singapore’s Straits Times was flat at 3 108.44. China’s Shanghai Composite was flat at 2 075.61. South Korea’s Seoul Composite added 0.71% at 1 962.98. Taiwan’s Taiwan Weighted was up 0.11% at 8 570.27.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.37 to the euro, 1.67 to the pound and will buy 102.54 Japanese Yen or 10.77 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The JSE All Share index was down 0.12% at 47 394.24 points with the blue chip Top 40 index losing 0.17%. The JSE closed at a record 47 616.85 points on Friday.

The longer-dated benchmark R186‚ due in 2026‚ was bid at 8.635% and offered at 8.605% from Friday’s close of 8.640%. The shorter-dated R157‚ redeemable in 2015‚ was bid at 7.305% and offered at 7.290% from its previous close of 7.320%‚ while the intermediate R207 bond‚ due in 2020‚ was bid at 8.370% and offered at 8.345% from its previous close of 8.380%.

Commodities

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 322.70/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 434.80/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ $ 102.51 per barrel.

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