The trading week was off to a shaky start as our local bourse reacted to poor Chinese Final Manufacturing PMI data, which alluded to minor industry contraction, and tensions mounted between the Ukraine and Russia.
The latter news witnessed investors move into safe havens assets such as gold and the US dollar, while emerging market currencies found themselves under pressure. However, these moves were unwound quickly as market participants became more confident that the Russia/Ukraine black sea debacle was under control.
South African vehicle sales for February declined 3.1% as reported by NAAMSA (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa). The figure follows on from a weak January reading, which witnessed a 6.8% decline.
HSBC composite PMI and Kagiso PMI manufacturing data both alluded to better than expected industry expansion in February.
Gross Gold and Foreign Exchange Reserves showed that $50.14bn is currently being held as the nation’s reserves, an improvement of the previous figure and better than consensus forecasts had predicted.
European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi left interest rates unchanged whilst reaffirming the commitment to maintaining low rates for an extended period.
In the US, Non-Farm Employment data showed that 175 000 jobs were added to the payroll last month, while the unemployment rate worsened marginally from 6.6% to 6.7%. Trade balance data revealed a trade deficit in line with expectation at $39.1bn.
The top movers list bears testimony to a positive week in on our local exchange. Shares heading up the losses column show only minimal declines over the period, while shares heading up the gains column show significant share price increases.
Tiger Brands Ltd has rebounded sharply after last week’s decline. A Stock Exchange News Services (SENS) announcement highlighted that Coronation Asset Management’s funds managed on behalf of segregated clients, have increased its beneficial interest in Tiger Brands to 5.18% of securities in issue.
Exxaro Resources Ltd released full year results showing Headline Earnings Per Share (HEPS) growth of 4% over the period. The HEPS came in nearer the upper end of the -2% to +6% guided range and equated to a stronger 2nd half of the year as lower coal prices, a volatile exchange rate, logistical constraints as well as a R292 million impairment hindered the interim period.
The diversity of this week’s top movers (Industrial, Bank and Resource counters within the list) highlights the broad-based nature of the gains realised in our market, which have been responsible for our local bourse trading to new all-time highs once again.
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