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Market News 22/08/2014

South Africa

Local stocks ended little changed on Thursday as investors weighed downbeat data on business activity in China that hit metal prices and views that banks and retailers are oversold. Assore slumped 3.47% to R329.12 while African Rainbow Minerals was down 2.7% at R185. Banks also bounced back, gaining between 1% and 2%, from losses triggered by Moody's downgrade, which the SARB and some analysts said was unwarranted. The Top-40 index ended 0.06% lower at 46,283, while the All-share index hardly moved at 51,443.

Commodities

Gold held near a two-month low this morning and was headed for its sharpest weekly drop in nearly three months, hurt by strong U.S. economic data and fears that the Fed could hike interest rates sooner than expected. Spot gold was little changed at $1,277.69/oz , near a two-month low. The metal is down 2.05% for the week. Brent Crude is heading for a second weekly loss as easing geopolitical risks and higher global oil supply pressured prices. October Brent crude had slipped $0.10 to $102.53 a barrel.

Currencies

The rand firmed against the dollar yesterday, as comments from ratings agency Standard & Poor's that it was not looking to downgrade South Africa's banks added to earlier gains in the euro to prop up the rand. The rand traded at 10.6965 to the dollar, near the end of the session, up 0.3% on its previous close. The rand initially perked up as the euro recovered from 11-month lows against the dollar after better-than-expected German private sector growth data, while later S&P added to the positive sentiment.

 

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