Financial News 12th February 2024

Market overview
The FTSE/JSE All Share closed last week at 73 423.31, decreasing by 1.29%. The technology and consumer discretionary sectors increased by 4.92% and 0.52% respectively during the week. The resources and oil & gas sectors decreased by 6.71% and 2.21% respectively during the same period.
Looking at the MSCI indices, developed markets increased by 1.06% during the previous week while emerging markets increased by 0.75% over the same period.

SA manufacturing slows down
Annual South African manufacturing production increased by 0.7% in December 2023, the slowest increase in three months, compared to forecasts of 2.5%. The largest downward contributions came from manufacture of motor vehicles parts and accessories. On the other hand, the biggest contributions came from manufacturing of beverages, coke, petroleum products and nuclear fuel. On a monthly basis, factory output shrank to 1.7%.

SA business confidence reaches one year high
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) business confidence index increased to a one-year high of 112.3 in January 2024, up from 112.1 in the prior month. The most significant contributors were higher sales of new vehicles, a rise in tourism, increased merchandise imports and an uptick in retail sales. 

Thanks to PPS Investments for the weekly Market Overview.

Sona populist sentiments negatively affect shares and the Rand
Most equity indices on the JSE moved weaker last week. The US Dollar remained strong and, helped by lower metal prices for gold and platinum, the Rand to Dollar exchange rate traded at levels around R19. Read the full IOL Business article here>

Oil lower after Israel says it has concluded a series of strikes
Oil prices fell in early Asian trade on Monday after Israel said it had “concluded” a series of strikes in southern Gaza, slightly easing concern about supply from the Middle East. Read the full Business Day article here>

Bitcoin eyes longest winning run in a year as ETFs attracts inflows
Bitcoin is flirting with a winning run last seen a year ago, aided by the record-breaking debut of US exchange-traded funds for the token. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

Gold rangebound as Chinese New Year thins trade
Gold prices steadied in a tight range on Monday in holiday-thinned trading, as investors awaited remarks from a slew of US Federal Reserve officials in a data-packed week. Read the full Business Day article here>

Europe stock futures gain after new S&P 500 record: Markets wrap
European equity futures edged up after the S&P 500 closed at a new record high Friday amid optimism over eventual Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts. Trading levels in Asia were muted with a swath of markets shut for Lunar New Year holidays. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

South Africans are dropping Eskom and going off-grid – but there’s a major legal problem
Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned power utility, struggles to generate and supply a stable flow of electricity to meet demand. In 2023, there were times when households and businesses had no power for up to 11 hours a day. Eskom has warned that load shedding will be worse in 2024. Read the full Businesstech article here>

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