Financial News 20th May 2024

Market overview
The FTSE/JSE All Share closed last week at 79 530.63, increasing by 1.41%. The consumer discretionary and technology sectors were the biggest contributors, increasing by 3.75% and 3.68% respectively during the week. The telecommunication and health care sectors were the biggest detractors, decreasing by 5.39% and 0.39% during the same period. 
Looking at the MSCI indices, developed markets increased by 1.61% during the previous week while emerging markets increased by 2.71% over the same period.

US inflation edges lower
The annual inflation rate in the United States fell to 3.4% in April from 3.5% in March, in line with market expectations. The CPI increased by 0.3% over the previous month, falling short of the previous two months’ average of 0.4% and missing forecasts of 0.4%. Meanwhile, core inflation fell to 3.6% annually, the lowest reading since April 2021, from 3.8% in March and February. The monthly rate also fell to 0.3% from 0.4%, in line with expectations.

Chinese production grows
China’s annual industrial production expanded by 6.7% in April, exceeding market expectations of 5.5%. Activities in manufacturing, utilities, and mining all accelerated amid continued support measures from the government.

Thanks to PPS Investments for the weekly Market Overview.

Big turn for South Africa’s financial markets
The most pivotal South African election in decades is already turning the tide of the country’s financial markets. Read the full Businesstech article here>

Oil gains after Iranian president dies in helicopter crash
Brent crude futures extended gains on Monday, inching up amid political uncertainty in major producing countries after Iran’s president died in a helicopter crash and the Saudi crown prince cancelled a Japan trip, citing health issues with the king. Read the full BusinessDay article here>

Gold hits record high on Fed rate-cut hopes, rising haven demand
Gold surged to an all-time high, boosted by increasing optimism the Federal Reserve will start easing monetary policy this year along with rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

Asian shares climb to two-year highs
Asian shares hit two-year highs while copper and gold struck records on Monday as investors wagered on interest rate cuts around the corner and China stepping up efforts to steady its ailing property sector. Read the full BusinessDay article here>

Wall Street not necessarily better than South African stocks – Schroders
South African investors do not need to invest in the US for good returns, as many high-quality local companies are better priced and have shown their resilience in a tough economic environment. Read the full article here>

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