Daily Financial Markets Report: Wednesday, 26 February 2014

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

Highlights

 U.S. stocks finished a choppy trading session lower on Tuesday as gloomy reports on home prices and consumer confidence dampened the mood. A report on home prices showed a dip in December, with the longer trend indicating a slowdown in price recovery. The U.S. consumer confidence index dropped by more than expected, reflecting lower expectations about the economy. Most European stock markets closed lower on Tuesday. Japanese stocks moved lower on Wednesday, as a firmer yen weighed on the market, while Australia was trading just above the break-even mark.

 Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 341.20/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 436.70/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 109.51 per barrel.

 The US dollar is currently trading at 1.37 to the euro, 1.66 to the pound and will buy 102.18 Japanese Yen or 10.68 South African Rand.

International markets

U.S. stocks finished a choppy trading session lower on Tuesday as gloomy reports on home prices and consumer confidence dampened the mood. A report on home prices showed a dip in December, with the longer trend indicating a slowdown in price recovery. The U.S. consumer confidence index dropped by more than expected, reflecting lower expectations about the economy. Most European stock markets closed lower on Tuesday. Japanese stocks moved lower on Wednesday, as a firmer yen weighed on the market, while Australia was trading just above the break-even mark.

The S&P 500 index closed 2.49 points, or 0.1%, lower at 1 845.12, after briefly topping a previous closing high. Throughout the session, the benchmark index struggled to lift through a key technical level, prompting further selling pressure in the afternoon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session 27.48 points, or 0.2%, lower at 16 179.66. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.38 points, or 0.1%, to 4 287.59.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.1% to end at 338.39, closing at the highest level since January 2008. The benchmark wobbled around in red territory for most of the trading day, but started moving higher right before the close as U.S. markets trended higher. Among country-specific indexes in Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index lost 0.5% to 6 830.50, after closing at its highest level since 1999 on Monday. Germany’s DAX 30 index fell 0.1% to 9 699.35, and France’s CAC 40 index gave up 0.1% to 4 414.55.

The Nikkei fell 0.6% after the yen strengthened overnight. Away from Japan the moves in stocks were small, with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 up 0.1% and South Korea’s Kospi down 0.3%.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.37 to the euro, 1.66 to the pound and will buy 102.18 Japanese Yen or 10.68 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The Top-40 index shed 1%, the second consecutive drop, to 42 442.25. The All-share lost 0.9% to 46 956.75.

Commodities

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 341.20/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 436.70/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 109.51 per barrel.

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