Financial News 4th March 2024

Market overview
The FTSE/JSE All Share closed last week at 72 775.50, decreasing by 1.94%. The only industry that saw growth during the week was the health care sector, which grew by 0.28%. The technology and basic consumer staples sectors were the biggest detractors, decreasing by 6.43% and 2.74% respectively during the same period.
Looking at the MSCI indices, developed markets increased by 0.90% during the previous week while emerging markets decreased by 0.30% over the same period.

SA manufacturing experiences a boost
The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index increased to 51.7 in February, from 43.6 in January. The latest reading indicated a renewed expansion in South Africa’s factory activity in February, the strongest since early 2023, following a steep contraction the month before. In February, the business activity sub-index and new sales orders showed improvement but still remained in negative territory. According to ABSA, “Respondents were more upbeat about exports, possibly signalling some alleviation of the congestion and disruptions at local harbours.”

US economy remains firm
The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.2% annual pace from October to December, propelled by healthy consumer spending. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of US economic activity, grew at a 3% annual pace from October to December.

Euro inflation continues to moderate
The annual inflation rate in the Euro Area declined to 2.6% in February, down from 2.8% in the previous month, but remaining slightly above market expectations of 2.5%. It was the lowest rate in three months but still exceeded the European Central Bank’s target of 2%. The core rate, excluding volatile food and energy prices, also cooled to 3.1%, reaching its lowest point since March 2022 but also remaining above forecasts of 2.9%.

Thanks to PPS Investments for the weekly Market Overview.

Rand unchanged in early trade
South Africa’s rand was flat in early trade on Monday, ahead of GDP and current account figures later in the week. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

Here is the official petrol price for March
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has published the latest official fuel price adjustments, which will kick in from Wednesday, 6 March 2024. Read the full Businesstech article here>

SA financial markets remain under pressure with fuel prices escalating
Domestic as well as global economic and political uncertainties continue to put South African financial markets under pressure. Read the full IOL Business Report here>

Oil inches higher after Opec+ agreement
Opec+ members agree to extend voluntary output cuts to the end of the second quarter, largely in line with market expectations. Read the full BusinessDay article here>

Emerging assets at risk as governments clash with central banks
Central bank independence is becoming an increasingly key battleground in emerging markets, and one that bodes ill for currency and bond investors. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

Need more information? Chat with us