Financial News 8th April 2024

Market overview
The FTSE/JSE All Share closed last week at 74 774.75, increasing by 0.32%. The basic materials and oil & gas sectors were the biggest contributors, increasing by 4.94% and 2.84% respectively during the week. The consumer discretionary and consumer staples sectors were the biggest detractors, decreasing by 2.34% and 2.29% during the same period.
Looking at the MSCI indices, developed markets decreased by 1.01% during the previous week while emerging markets increased by 0.28% over the same period.

Decline in SA manufacturing
The S&P Global South Africa Purchasing Managers’ Index decreased to 48.4 in March, from 50.8 in February. Stronger price pressures, load shedding, and wider economic uncertainty contributed to decreased customer demand. As a result, output contracted at its fastest pace in 2024 to date.  On a positive note, companies pointed to an easing of supply-side delays, amid reports that the port crisis in Durban was calming down.

US job market remains hot
The US economy added 303 000 jobs in March, the most in ten months, compared to forecasts of 200 000. Employment gains remain elevated by historical standards and continue to surpass the 70 000 to 100 000 needed monthly to keep up with the expanding working-age population. The unemployment rate in the United States decreased to 3.8% in March from 3.9% in February.

Thanks to PPS Investments for the weekly Market Overview.

South African rand firms after foreign reserves data
South Africa’s rand firmed in early trade on Monday, after central bank data showed that foreign reserves had increased last month. Read the full article from here>

Financial markets remain under pressure
Local financial markets remain under severe pressure since the beginning of the year. Part of this is due to the South African economy experiencing a perfect storm. Read the full article here>

Gold climbs to new record before pivotal US inflation print
Gold drove higher to a fresh record above $2 350 an ounce as investors shifted focus to a key US inflation reading later this week, while geopolitical risks also added to its appeal. Read the full Moneyweb article here>

Oil slips amid easing Middle East tension
Tension eased after Israel withdrew more soldiers from southern Gaza and committed to fresh talks on a potential ceasefire. Read the full BusinessDay article here>

Top 5 things to watch in markets in the week ahead
U.S. inflation data will be in sharp focus in the coming week after Friday’s blowout jobs report raised the prospect that the Federal Reserve may delay interest rate cuts for longer. Read the full article here>

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