Financial News 11th March 2024

Market overview
Last week, the FTSE/JSE All Share closed at 73 717.75, up 1.29%. The largest contributors during the week were the consumer discretionary and basic materials sectors, which grew by 1.47 and 7.88%, respectively. The biggest detractors were the financial and technology sectors, which fell by 1.03% and 4.31%, over the same period.
Looking at the MSCI indices, developed markets increased by 0.53% during the previous week while emerging markets increased by 1.24%.

SA avoids a recession
South Africa narrowly averted a technical recession as real GDP increased by 0.1% in the final quarter of 2023, after a decline of 0.2% in the third quarter. This resulted in an annual GDP increase of 0.6% for the calendar year, down from the 1.9% increase recorded in 2022.
Positive contributors to the GDP in the final quarter were mining and quarrying, finance and personal services each contributing 0.1% while transport, storage and communication contributed 0.2%. Detractors to GDP were trade, catering and accommodation (-0.3%) and agriculture, forestry and fishing (-0.2%). Manufacturing, construction, government, taxes less subsidies and electricity, gas and water were negligible contributors to real GDP.

Euro interest rates remain unchanged
The European Central Bank maintained its interest rates at historically high levels during its March meeting, as policymakers balanced concerns over a looming recession with persistently elevated underlying inflationary pressures. Rates remain at a 22-year high of 4.5%. Meanwhile, the ECB has projected inflation to average 2.3% in 2024 (compared to 2.7% in December projections), 2.0% in 2025 (compared to 2.1%), and 1.9% in 2026.

Thanks to PPS Investments for the weekly Market Overview.

Rand edges lower against dollar
The rand edged lower early on Monday, with analysts saying global market factors were likely to set the tone for the day’s trade in the absence of major domestic economic releases. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

Turning point for SA financial markets? Gold at a new record level
The JSE All Share index by the end of last week was down by 5.4% since the beginning of the year, and the Rand/Dollar rate at one stage at the end of February reached R19.38/$. Read the fulkl IOL Business article here>

Top five things to watch in markets in the week ahead
February data including consumer prices and retail sales will offer more cues on the prospects for potential Federal Reserve rate cuts. Bitcoin hits record highs, while Wall Street could be in for another volatile week. Here’s what you need to know to start your week. Read the full article here>

Oil loses more ground on worry about demand
Oil prices extended last week’s losses on Monday on concern about slow demand in China, though lingering geopolitical risk surrounding the Middle East and Russia limited the decline. Read the full Business Day article here>

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