20 April - 24 April 2015
A regular look at local and international economic data, major events, economic releases and company news expected in the week to come.
By Shaun Murison, Market Analyst
Resource counters are breathing a short-term sigh of relief as commodity prices have started to rebound while the dollar loses ground against most currencies following weaker economic data.
Oil has rallied to a yearly high and added more than 15% in April thus far. Continuing conflict in Yemen, a weaker dollar, indications that U.S shale producers are under severe pressure and speculation that OPEC is in discussions with other major oil producers (such as Russia) to cut supply have supported the move in oil.
After reaching an all-time high on Monday and trading above the R2000 share mark intraday, Naspers’ share price gains were more than offset as the week progressed, following a move on its Chinese listed counterpart Tencent. Founder and chairman of Tencent, Mr Ma Huateng, was reported to have sold more than $400m worth of the company shares which caused short-term panic and in turn significant selling in both Tencent Holdings and Naspers.
Kumba Iron Ore remains out of favour as reiterated last week. Investors will be interested to note the company’s last quarter production and sales data scheduled for release on Thursday the 23rd of April.
Sanlam losses are perhaps misleading as the share adjusted going ex-dividend on Monday.
|22-Apr||BHP Billiton PLC||Q1 operational review||n/a|
|23-Apr||DRDGold Ltd||Q3 earnings||
|23-Apr||Kumba Iron Ore Ltd||Q1 corporate sales and production||n/a|
|23-Apr||Sibanye Gold Ltd||Q1 operating update||n/a|
|23-Apr||Amplat||Q1 production update||n/a|
|23-Apr||Iliad Africa Ltd||Ex-Dividend||R0.22|
Source: Economic Calendar, as of 17/04/2015
The monthly roundup of sales data, for the retail sector, was mostly upbeat as the data exceeded expectation for the most part.
Retail trade sales (measured in real terms) increased by 4.2% year-on-year in February 2015. The main contributors to the 4.2% increase were general dealers and retailers in hardware, paint and glass. Wholesale trade sales did however show a minor 0.4% contraction year-on-year (February 2015).
Measured in nominal terms (current prices), motor trade sales increased by 0.6% year-on-year in February 2015. Positive annual growth rates were recorded for used vehicle sales (16.7%), sales of accessories (8.6%), convenience store sales (5.7%) and new vehicle sales (1.8%).
China kicked the week off with lacklustre trade balance data in which both imports and exports showed double-digit declines, equating to only a marginal trade surplus for the region. This was followed up with first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data on Wednesday, which showed economic growth to be at the lower end of analyst’s expectations at 7%. Weaker economic data out of China has however been greeted by strong gains in equity markets as the expectation of further stimulus from the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) is increased.
In the U.S., dollar weakness would suggest that the summation of economic data weighed to the negative. Month-on-month core retail and retail sales data fell short of consensus, as did the building permits and housing starts data. While PPI data showed low levels of inflation at a factory level, CPI data showed inflation to be in line with consensus at 0.2%. CPI data now witnesses an increased relevance in markets at present, as Fed chair Mrs Janet Yellen has indicated its importance relating to when the rate tightening cycle may commence in the U.S.
The week ahead
The new week will see a continued focus on Chinese data in lure of further easing expectations with HSBC Manufacturing PMI data scheduled for release on Thursday.
While a manufacturing and services PPI data is also scheduled for release out of Europe, this is likely to be overshadowed by any news relating to Greece, relating to its status as part of the Eurozone.
Locally we await CPI data and will have an opportunity to reassess the state of local miners as BHP Billiton, Amplats, DRDGold and Sibanye Gold all release quarterly production updates.
|21-Apr||11:00||EUR||German ZEW economic sentiment||54.8|
|21-Apr||11:00||EUR||ZEW economic sentiment||62.4|
|22-Apr||10:00||GBP||MPC official bank rate votes||0-0-9|
|22-Apr||10:30||GBP||MPC asset purchase facility votes||0-0-9|
|22-Apr||16:00||US||Existing home sales||4.88m|
|22-Apr||16:30||US||Crude oil inventories||1.3m|
|23-Apr||15:45||CNY||HSBC flash manufacturing PMI||49.6|
|23-Apr||09:00||EUR||French flash manufacturing PMI||48.8|
|23-Apr||09:00||EUR||French flash services PMI||52.4|
|23-Apr||10:00||EUR||Flash manufacturing PMI||52.2|
|23-Apr||10:00||EUR||Flash services PMI||54.2|
|23-Apr||10:30||GBP||Retail sales m/m||0.70%|
|23-Apr||14:30||US||Weekly unemployed claims||294k|
|23-Apr||15:45||US||Flaah manufacturing PMI||55.7|
|23-Apr||16:00||US||New home sales||539k|
|24-Apr||10:00||EUR||German IFO business climate||107.9|
|24-Apr||14:30||US||Core durable goods orders m/m||
|24-Apr||14:30||US||Durable goods orders m/m||-1.10%|
Source: Economic Calendar, as of 17/04/2015
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Source: INET BFA, as of 17/04/2015