The Week Ahead

23-27 April 2018

Global equity markets

Local data

The annual inflation rate in March 2018 was recorded at 3,8%, which is 0.2% lower than the corresponding annual rate of 4,0% in February 2018. On average, prices increased by 0,4% between February 2018 and March 2018.

Retail trade sales increased by 4,9% year-on-year in February 2018. The highest annual growth rates were recorded for retailers in household furniture, appliances and equipment, retailers in textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods and all 'other' retailers.

Motor trade sales increased by 3,5% year-on-year in February 2018. The largest annual growth rates were recorded for fuel sales, new vehicle sales and convenience store sales.

Wholesale trade sales increased by 0,7% in February 2018 compared with February 2017.

International data

In China first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data showed economic growth of 6.8%, which was in line with analyst expectations as well as the previous quarters figure. The figure did however exceed the government’s 6.5% growth target.

The European Union has failed to agree on whether or not to impose fresh sanctions on Iran in relation to the Middle Eastern country’s nuclear program. US President, Donald Trump, has threatened to end the sanction relief for the region and given a 12 May deadline for plans to reform their nuclear program.

Economic Calendar

Date Time Currency Event Previous
24 April 16:00 USD CB Consumer Confidence 127.7
25 April 16:30 USD Crude Oil Inventories -1.1m
26 April 13:45 EUR Minimum Bid Rate 0.00%
26 April 11:30 ZAR PPI y/y 4.20%
26 April 14:30 EUR ECB Press Conference  
26 April 14:30 USD Core Durable Goods Orders m/m 1%
27 April Tentative JPY BOJ Policy Rate -0.10%
27 April Tentative JPY Monetary Policy Statement  
27 April Tentative JPY BOJ Outlook Report  
27 April Tentative JPY BOJ Press Conference  
27 April 10:30 USD Prelim GDP q/q 0.40%
27 April 14:30 GBP Advance GDP q/q 2.90%

Source: Economic Calendar, as of 20/04/2018

Commodities

Diminishing trade war tensions between the US and China are boding well for commodity prices in general, although reduced safe haven demand has seen precious metal prices lagging.

Crude oil prices have rallied to levels not seen since 2014 as a perfect storm of catalysts meet to aid gains in the commodities’ pricing. Suggestions from Saudi Arabian authorities have been that the global oversupply in crude oil is now starting to abate and that supply could rebalance in line with demand, by as soon as the end of June 2018. While OPEC are currently monitoring oil production and inventories of industrialized nations, a review (with OPEC and major Non-OPEC producers) on the  current output limit agreements is scheduled for the latter part of June. Current supply curbs are scheduled up until the end of December 2018, although speculation is that these production limits could be extended at the meeting. Saudi officials have already made the comments that they hope/expect to see Brent trading back at the $80/barrel to $100/barrel levels once again.

In the US, recent data has suggested falling stockpiles in crude inventory held by commercial firms. It has also been reported that demand for gasoline has surged in the region ahead of the peak summertime demand/consumption part of the year.  While demand is high, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and some Donald Trump tweets of antagony towards major oil producer, Russia, have further oil price gains as of late. Furthering the supply concerns in the Middle East is the possibility of the US renewing sanctions on Iran.

The Rand

The rand has managed to claw back some gains this week as emerging market currencies recover amidst an improved appetite for riskier assets.

The rand remains in broad trading range against its frontier market currency peers, the Euro and the Dollar.

Against the dollar, the range considered is between levels R11.50/$ and R12.20/$.

Against the Euro, the range considered is between levels R14.35/EUR and R15.10/EUR

Against the British Pound, the rand weakened to break out of the range only to claw back some strength this week. The pound has been particularly soft after having gained substantially against most currencies in the week preceding, with perhaps the softer than expected inflation data out of the region on Wednesday, expected to temper the hawkish outlook from the Bank of England.

Companies

Clicks Group Limited: 1H18 results showed  diluted earnings per share to have increased by  rose 15.1% from previous year’s comparative period.

Pick N Pay Stores Limited FY18 results showed diluted headline earnings per share to have increased by 7.7% from the previous year.

Pioneer Food Group Limited released a 1H18 trading statementguiding that the company expects a  25.0% to 35.0% increase in headline earnings per share. 

Massmart Holdings has said that The Group’s sales performance for the first 12 weeks of 2018 has been soft which is a trend noted by other participants in South African retail. Total sales growth is slightly positive while comparable sales growth is slightly negative, with product deflation of -0.4%. Sales growths in Rands from our stores outside South Africa are at similar levels as these Group figures. Food sales growth remains low due to ongoing deflation in commodities, which should move into inflation from April/May 2018.

Cashbuild Limited released a 3Q18 operational update, guiding that revenue is expected to have increased by 7.0% against the prior year’s comparative period.

Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited released a1Q18 production report guiding that the total tonnes milled advanced 9.9%

Pallinghurst Resources Limited FY17 results showed diluted earnings per share to have declined by 33.3% from the previous year.

24 April Q1 2018 Anglo American Platinum Ltd Corporate Production Report
25 April Q1 2018 Gold Fields Ltd Corporate Operating Update
25 April Half Year 2018 RDI Reit PLC Earnings Release Q2 2018
25 April Half Year 2018 RDI Reit PLC Earnings Call
26 April Q3 2018 Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd Corporate Sales Release

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