Financial News 21st August 2023

Market overview
The FTSE/JSE All Share closed last week at 73 080.88, decreasing by 5.06%. The basic materials and oil&gas sectors decreased by 8.44% and 5.21% respectively during the week. No sectors were positive during the 5-day period.
Looking at the MSCI indices, developed markets decreased by 2.48% during the previous week while emerging markets decreased by 3.49% over the same period.

SA business confidence stagnant
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) business confidence index decreased to 107.3 in July 2023, compared to June’s 108.8. Lower exports, higher real financing costs and a decrease in the value of passed building plans weighing on sentiment. SACCI mentioned “The index has stagnated since April, suggesting an unencouraging business climate for economic activity”.

SA unemployment sees slight improvement
South Africa’s unemployment rate decreased to 32.6% in the second quarter of 2023, slightly better than market expectations and the previous period’s 32.9%. It was the lowest rate since the Q1 of 2021. Meanwhile, the labour force increased by 143 000 to 24.3 million. Among sectors, job gains were mainly from construction, trade, and community and social services. In contrast, decreases in jobs were reported from manufacturing, finance and transport. 
The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes those discouraged from seeking work was 42.1% in Q2, down from a prior 42.4%. The youth unemployment rate, measuring jobseekers between 15 and 24 years old dropped to 60.7%, 1.4 percentage points lower compared to Q1.

Our thanks to PPS Investments for the weekly Market Overview.

Rand weakens ahead of Brics, CPI
The rand weakened in early trade on Monday, ahead of a week packed with the Brics summit of emerging market economies and monthly inflation figures. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

European shares lift after bad performance last week
The dollar, which has notched up five weeks of gains helped by rising bond yields, was trading flat against a basket of peers. Read the full Business Day article here>

Yields rise, stocks mixed after China rate puzzles: Markets wrap
Treasury yields advanced while stocks in Asia traded mixed as investors braced for a further market downturn on China’s woes and more policy tightening globally. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

Yet another US and South African interest rate hike? JSE’s devastating reaction
Global equity markets last week had a terrible run. The minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Commission (FOMC) monetary policy meeting were released last Wednesday. Read the full IOL article here>

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