Daily Financial Markets Report | Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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

Highlights

 U.S. stocks climbed Tuesday after a better-than-expected jump in July housing starts and upbeat earnings reports. With geopolitical tensions easing in Iraq and Ukraine, European stock markets continued higher on Tuesday, with the benchmark index ending at its strongest closing level in almost three weeks. Hong Kong stocks swung between small gains and losses Wednesday morning,

 Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 295.40/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 439.60/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 101.45 per barrel.

 The US dollar is currently trading at 1.33 to the euro, 1.66 to the pound and will buy 103.19 Japanese Yen or 10.67 South African Rand.

International markets

U.S. stocks climbed Tuesday after a better-than-expected jump in July housing starts and upbeat earnings reports. With geopolitical tensions easing in Iraq and Ukraine, European stock markets continued higher on Tuesday, with the benchmark index ending at its strongest closing level in almost three weeks. Hong Kong stocks swung between small gains and losses Wednesday morning,

The S&P 500 advanced 9.86 points, or 0.5%, to close at 1 981.60, while the Dow industrials rose 80.85 points, or 0.5%, to end at 16 919.59. The S&P 500 stands 0.3% off its July 24 record close at 1,987.98, recovering from its drop in late July and early August. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 19.20 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 4 527.51.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose for a second straight day and put on 0.6% to close at 335.49. Germany’s DAX 30 index rallied 1% to 9 334.28, putting it among best performers in Europe for a second day. The benchmark jumped 1.7% on Monday on optimism over the situation in Ukraine. Germany is a major trading partner with Russia, and the standoff with Ukraine has been particularly painful for German stocks. The DAX is down 4% for the past month, compared with a 1.2% decline for the Stoxx 600. France’s CAC 40 index rose 0.6% to 4 254.45, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index picked up 0.6% to 6 779.31.

The Hang Seng Index was flat after hitting its highest closing level in over six years a day earlier. Over on the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.2%.

The US dollar is currently trading at 1.33 to the euro, 1.66 to the pound and will buy 103.19 Japanese Yen or 10.67 South African Rand.

Domestic markets

The Top-40 index fell 0.5% to 46 195.61 while the All-share ended 0.4% lower at 51 363.37.

Commodities

Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 295.40/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 439.60/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 101.45 per barrel.

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