Financial News 20th February 2023

Market Overview
The FTSE/JSE All Share closed last week at 79 271.78, increasing by 0.36%. The consumer discretionary and healthcare sectors were the best performing increasing by 3.53% and 2.66% respectively. The oil & gas and basic materials sectors were the biggest detractors, decreasing by 2.98% and 1.99% respectively.
Looking at the MSCI indices, developed markets decreased by -0.08% during the previous week while emerging markets decreased by -1.37% over the same period.

SA inflation eases lower
South Africa’s annual inflation rate decreased for the third straight month to 6.9% in January 2023 from 7.2% in the prior month. It remains above the upper limit of the South African Reserve Bank’s target range of 3%-6%. The decrease was mainly due to slowing prices of fuels, restaurants and hotels. Despite the lower overall reading, increases were seen for food & non-alcoholic beverages, which increased by 13.4% during the past year.

The annual core inflation which excludes prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, fuel and energy stood at a three-month low of 4.9% in January, unchanged from the prior month.

MONDAY MARKETS: Rand under pressure: Politics? Load shedding? US interest rates?
The rand depreciated last week to its lowest level since May 2020, during the Covid-19 lock down, when the currency reached R18.57 to the dollar. Read the full article here>

Asian stocks swing higher as traders mull rates: markets wrap
Stocks in Asia edged higher and the dollar was little changed as investors weighed hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials and geopolitical tensions. Read the full article here>

Oil prices muted ahead of Fed-heavy week
Oil prices rose on Monday, recouping a measure of recent losses, although pressure from concerns over rising interest rates and deteriorating demand persisted ahead of more indicators from the Federal Reserve on the path of monetary policy. Read the ful article here>

Money Alone Can’t Solve SA Problems, Better Implementation Needed
No matter what largesse Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana allocates in Wednesday’s budget to address SA’s numerous ailments, unless there’s a massive improvement in government’s ability to implement policy and spend the funds effectively, I fear much of it may not achieve its intent. Read the full article here>

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