Financial News 27th February 2024

Market overview
The FTSE/JSE All Share closed last week at 74 213.38, increasing by 0.81%. The industrials and basic consumer staples sectors increased by 4.06% and 1.53% respectively during the week. The telecommunication and oil & gas sectors decreased by 4.16% and 3.07% respectively during the same period.
Looking at the MSCI indices, developed markets increased by 1.51% during the previous week while emerging markets increased by 1.23% over the same period.

SA Leading Business Cycle Indicator sees decline
The composite leading business cycle indicator dropped by 0.8% in December 2023, following a 0.4% drop in the previous month. The most significant contributors were decreases in the number of residential building plans approved and the average hours worked per factory worker in the manufacturing sector, with loadshedding continuing to stifle economic growth.

SA inflation higher, remains sticky
South Africa’s annual inflation rate rose to 5.3% in January 2024, up from December’s 5.1%. It is slightly below the market forecast of 5.4%. The annual core inflation, which excludes food and fuel prices, increased to a five-month high of 4.6% in January, from 4.5% in December, slightly above market expectations of 4.5%.
Despite inflation being within the Reserve Bank’s target range, South Africa is unlikely to see interest rate relief before interest rates in the United States fall.

Thanks to PPS Investments for the Market Overview.

Rand firms against weaker dollar
The rand was trading stronger early on Tuesday, in line with other emerging market currencies, as the dollar slipped ahead of key US economic data. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

Two-pot retirement system for South Africa incoming – but not everyone has to take part
South Africa’s upcoming two-pot retirement system is set to drastically change the retirement industry, but not every fund contributor will have to participate. Read the full Businesstech article here>

Oil retains earlier gains amid Red Sea attacks
Oil prices on Tuesday mostly held onto gains made a day earlier amid attacks on shipping in the Red Sea that have compounded supply worries. Read the full BusinessDay article here>

Dollar struggles for direction, yen rises after data
The dollar struggled for direction on Tuesday ahead of key data that could provide further clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy path, while the yen rose after figures confirmed inflation was above the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) target. Read the full article here>

Gold edges away from two-week highs
Gold prices inched lower on Monday pressured by a gaining dollar, but bullion’s losses were cushioned as growing tension in the Middle East supported the safe-haven near last session’s more than two-week highs. Read the full BusinessDay article here>

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