Market returns for the first three months
Financial First Quarter of 2019
Reaching the end of the first quarter of 2019, a quick overview of market returns for the first three months.
Reaching the end of the first quarter of 2019, a quick overview of market returns for the first three months. The JSE all-share index (ALSI) returned 8.58% over the period, with the resources sector gaining 17.08%, followed by the industrial sector with a return of 9.19%, and the financial sector with a lackluster gain of 0.08%.
International markets also bounced back strongly. In the US, the S&P 500 Index gained 14.03%, the CAC in Paris gained 14.36%, while the star performer Shanghai jumped a massive 23.9%. Despite uncertainty driven by Brexit, the FTSE in London gained 8.10%.
The past week saw various news headings that influenced the markets. Here is a brief overview:
The most important news of the week was that on Friday the ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service made no decision about the South African sovereign credit rating and that accordingly the status remains at one notch above non-investment grade with a neutral outlook. Moody’s decision to make no announcement is regarded as a positive step in the context of the prevailing power blackouts.
South Africa’s trade balance swung to a surplus of R3.99 billion in February, from a revised R13.06 billion deficits in January, data from the SA Revenue Service indicated on Friday.
The monetary policy committee of the SA Reserve Bank kept the repo-rate unchanged at 6.75% in a unanimous decision.
Statistics South Africa reported that annual headline producer price inflation for final manufactured goods was 4.7% in February 2019. This was in line with the projections of economists. The producer price index is a weighted index of prices that businesses charge at the wholesale or producer level for final manufactured goods.
South Africa has a new permanent Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Edward Kieswetter has been appointed Commissioner of SARS and is set to resume office on 1 May 2019.
Employment in South Africa’s non-agricultural formal sector grew by 87 000 between September and December 2018, Stats SA announced in its latest Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) bulletin. This is great news for jobhunters in a tough market.
Motorists will feel the pinch as the price of fuel is set to go up in April. The retail price of petrol will increase by nearly 9% on 3 April, while the price of wholesale diesel will increase by close to 6%, the Energy Department said on Sunday. The petrol price will rise by 131 cents to R16.13 per litre in Gauteng, while diesel will increase by 81 cents to R14.87 per litre. In a statement, Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe said the sharp increase in prices was the result of higher fuel and road taxes announced in February’s budget. Do remember to fill up your vehicle before the increase on Wednesday.
A stronger rand is expected in the coming week on the back of Moody’s decision Friday that “ratings were not updated for South Africa”.
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