Cape Town – Tuesday was another good day for the local market with the All-Share index closing up 0.13%, the blue-chip Top40 up 0.12%, industrials up by 0.02% and financials up by 0.33%.
It was a mixed day for resources as resource stocks finished
up by 0.18%, while gold miners were down 2.62% on the day. The best performer
was Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] up 5.50% and Anglo American [JSE:AGL] up 1.86%,
whilst Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] was down 4.82%.
We saw Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd [JSE:APN] wobble on
rumours of a Viceroy research report causing the company to issue a SENS
announcement stating that it has had no contact with Viceroy Research, closing
at R247.54, down by 4.56%.
Meanwhile Steinhoff’s woes continued as investors
looked to offload shares after Monday’s announcement by the ECB – the share
closed at R7.55, down by another 13.02%.
The rand was trading at R12.40 to the dollar ahead of Wednesday’s Parliamentary sub-committee meeting to deliberate on a draft procedure
for implementing section 89 (1) of the constitution, which concerns the removal
of a president.
Gold prices retreated further to $1 309.39/ounce as demand for
the dollar has increased as investors continue to bet on further interest rate
hikes by the Fed this year. This has pushed the US dollar index up 0.22% to
92.56. Gold is highly sensitive to rising US interest rates, as they increase
the opportunity cost of holding a non-yielding asset.
Elsewhere, silver was down 1.20% at $16.92/troy ounce, while palladium continued to widen the gap from platinum, up 0.22% to $1 105.13/troy
ounce and down 0.81% to $ 963.79/troy ounce respectively.
Oil has increased every month since July, benefiting from
production cut efforts led by OPEC. Brent Crude is currently trading at $68.10/bbl.
Asian shares rose for a sixth straight day with China’s
Shanghai Composite up by 0.16% and Japan’s Nikkei up 0.57%.
There was good news for European shares as the unemployment rate fell
to 8.7% in November according to data from Eurostat, while Germany’s industrial
production rose by 3.4% from the previous month, far exceeding forecasts.
The pound weakened as Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle
descended into chaos with senior government members refusing to change roles, and the end result being a less dramatic shake-up than planned.
US equities had a record open as the market optimism
continues ahead of the earnings season with Financial giants BlackRock, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo among the companies set to report results later
JPMorgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon has backtracked from his earlier
comments on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, saying during an interview with Fox Business that he believes in the
technology behind it.
Bitcoin prices were
at $15 000 at the time of writing.
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