Financial News 22nd January 2024

Market overview
The FTSE/JSE All Share closed last week at 72 660.94, decreasing by -2.13%. The health care and consumer discretionary sectors increased by 0.87% and 0.38% respectively during the week. The basic material and oil & gas sectors decreased by 4.14% and 3.95% respectively during the same period.
Looking at the MSCI indices, developed markets increased by 0.23% during the previous week while emerging markets decreased by 2.54% over the same period.

Big boost in US consumer sentiment
The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment for the US increased to 78.8 in January 2024, the highest since July 2021, compared to 69.7 in December and forecasts of 70. Consumer views were supported by confidence that inflation has turned a corner and strengthening income expectations. Looking at January and December, consumer sentiment has climbed a cumulative 29%, the largest two-month increase since 1991 as a recession ended.

China growth slightly below expectations
The Chinese economy grew by an annual 5.2% in Q4 of 2023, less than market forecasts of 5.3%. December data indicated that industrial production increased materially however retail sales remain muted. Excluding the pandemic years through 2022, the 2023 GDP growth is the slowest pace of annual growth since 1990, underscoring the impact of a prolonged property crisis, persistently weak consumption, and global turmoil.

Thanks to PPS Investments for the weekly Market Overview.

South African rand on backfoot ahead of rate decision, data
South Africa’s rand edged lower against the dollar early on Monday, as traders gauge an eventful week that will host the release of inflation data and the central bank’s first rate decision of the year. Read the full Market Screener article here>

Top 5 things to watch in markets in the week ahead
Earnings season ramps up, big central banks kick off their first meetings of 2024 and PMI data is set to show how the global economy is faring at the start of the year. Here’s what you need to know to start your week. Read the full article here>

Gold treads water as investors eye US data and inflation counter
Gold prices were little changed on Monday, as traders cautiously awaited fresh data on the US economy and the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge due later this week, leading up to the central bank’s interest rate decision next week. Read the full Business Day article here>

Oil steadies with Libyan restart and Red Sea tensions in focus
Oil steadied following an early dip after OPEC member Libya restarted production at its largest field, which balanced out concerns about tensions in the Red Sea that look set to continue disrupting shipping. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

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