Financial News 12th December 2023

Market overview
The FTSE/JSE All Share closed last week at 73 790.88, decreasing by 2.53%. The consumer discretionary and telecommunication sectors increased by 3.20% and 1.63% respectively during the week. The basic materials and oil & gas sectors decreased by 8.88% and 1.84% respectively during the same period.
Looking at the MSCI indices, developed markets increased by 0.23% during the previous week while emerging markets decreased by 0.71% over the same period.

SA growth in negative territory
South Africa’s annual GDP decreased by 0.7% during the third quarter, below market estimates of a 0.2% decline. It marks the first economic contraction since the first quarter of 2021, primarily due to persistent power shortages and logistical constraints as a result of Transnet and backlogs at ports.

SA consumers feeling the heat
The FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index for South Africa decreased to -17 points in the fourth quarter from -16 points in the previous three-month period. It marks the worst fourth quarter reading in 23 years, amid ongoing concerns over the country’s economic situation, rising cost of living and higher borrowing costs.

US consumers upbear as inflation cools
The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment for the US increased to 69.4 in December, rising from 61.3 in November, much higher than market expectations of 62.0. It was the highest level recorded since August, largely propelled by positive shifts in the anticipated path of inflation. Expectations for inflation in the upcoming year dropped to 3.1% from November’s 4.5%, marking the lowest level recorded since March 2021.

Thanks to PPS Investments for the weekly Market Overview.

Rand recovers against dollar as US inflation data looms
The South African rand recovered in early trade on Tuesday against the dollar as global markets braced for consumer inflation data out of the US that could set the tone for the Federal Reserve’s future interest rate path. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

SA back on the radar as a global investment destination
You would be forgiven for being apprehensive about the real level of international demand for SA equities given the low market volumes, local macroeconomic situation and political environment we are going through. Read the full Business Day article here>

Stocks make cautious start to event-packed week: Markets wrap
Global equities posted modest moves at the start of a busy week of economic data and central bank meetings that will test optimism among investors that interest rates will soon head lower. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

Dollar edges lower as US inflation data looms
The dollar ticked lower on Tuesday and the yen regained some ground it had lost in the past two sessions as traders turned their focus to U.S. inflation data later in the day and a slew of central bank meetings ahead. Read the full article here>

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