Financial News 16th October 2023

Market overview
The FTSE/JSE All Share closed at 71 657.25 last week, increasing by 1.76%. The basic materials and oil & gas sectors increased by 8.72% and 8.47% respectively during the week. The telecommunications and health care sectors decreased by 2.80% and 1.89% during the same period.
Looking at the MSCI indices, developed markets increased by 0.61% during the previous week while emerging markets increased by 1.51% over the same period.

SA business environment struggling
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) business confidence index slightly decreased to 108.2 in September 2023, compared to August’s 108.6. Factors such as loadshedding and inflation negatively affected sentiment, whereas foreign business-related elements had a positive impact.  According to SACCI, “The current business climate is not conducive to stimulating overall economic activity. Remedying this situation and enhancing the economy’s long-term prospects will require appropriate investments in human capital and fixed capital stock.”

China’s Inflation struggles continue
China’s consumer prices remained unchanged at 0% in September 2023 from the previous year, falling short of the market consensus of a 0.2% gain. The latest data shows that persistent deflationary pressures still plague the world’s second-largest economy, raising concerns about the sustainability of the economic recovery due to low demand.

Thanks to PPS investments for the weekly Market Overview.

South African rand jumps as dollar eases
The South African rand strengthened in early trade on Monday as tensions in the Middle East underpinned the price of oil and put the dollar on the back-foot. Read the full MarketScreener article here>

Here is the expected petrol price for November
Mid-month data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) points to petrol and diesel price relief on the cards for November 2023, with lower oil prices currently being the bigger boon for energy users. Read the full BusinessTech article here>

Stocks slide amid investor jitters over fallout of Gaza conflict
Japan’s Nikkei share average fell as much as 2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.43% and mainland blue chips dropped 0.69%. Read the full BusinessDay article here>

Oil treads water as investors weigh risks of Israel-Hamas war
If the conflict draws in other countries, prices could be driven up further, dealing a fresh blow to the global economy. Read the full BusinessDay article here>

IMF, World Bank ‘impotent’ on Israel-Gaza war shock
Global finance leaders’ paralysis in addressing the fallout from the Hamas attack and Israel’s response last week exposed deep geopolitical divisions hampering the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, even as they advanced new funding plans aimed at easing more-frequent economic shocks. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

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