Daily Financial Markets Report | Tuesday, 20 May 2014

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

Highlights

 U.S. stocks ended Monday’s thinly traded session higher with small-cap and tech companies leading the gains. Trading volumes on Wall Street were the third-lowest this year, and analysts noted the absence of ‘bad news’ sent stocks higher. European stock markets were lower due to stalling merger negotiations between major pharmaceuticals. Asian stocks ended mostly lower on Monday, with mainland China and Australia leading losses.

 Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 293.70/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 469.50/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 109.54 per barrel.

 The US dollar is currently trading at 1.37 to the euro, 1.68 to the pound and will buy 101.47 Japanese Yen or 10.33 South African Rand.

International markets

U.S. stocks ended Monday’s thinly traded session higher with small-cap and tech companies leading the gains. Trading volumes on Wall Street were the third-lowest this year, and analysts noted the absence of ‘bad news’ sent stocks higher. European stock markets were lower due to stalling merger negotiations between major pharmaceuticals. Asian stocks ended mostly lower on Monday, with mainland China and Australia leading losses.

The Nasdaq Composite closed 35.23 points, or 0.9%, higher at 4 125.82. The S&P 500 index added 7.22 points, or 0.4%, to 1 885.08. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20.55 points, or 0.1%, to 16 511.86.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index slipped 0.1% to 338.63, after closing higher for five straight weeks on Friday. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index fell 0.4% to 6 831.87. France’s CAC 40 index rose 0.2% to 4 462.82, while Germany’s DAX 30 index added 0.1% to 9 633.55.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.1%, with property stocks taking a hit from news that China’s real estate prices in 70 major cities showed further signs of a slowdown. The weakness of the property market also weighed on Hong Kong markets, as the Hang Seng Index closed negative after trimming earlier losses, down 0.04%. Meanwhile, Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 settled 1.3% lower, as a fall in spot iron-ore prices hit the miners hard.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.37 to the euro, 1.68 to the pound and will buy 101.47 Japanese Yen or 10.33 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The All-share index was only 0.53% higher on 49 421 points and the Top 40-index rose 0.53% to 44 322 points.

Commodities

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 293.70/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 469.50/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 109.54 per barrel.

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