Market News 26/01/2015


South Africa

South African stocks ended slightly lower on Friday, snapping a 4-day winning streak as it was dragged down partly by Anglo American Platinum. Amplats slid 3.9% to R367.79 after it flagged a drop in annual profit of around 55% as it counts the costs of last year's 5-month strike and lower platinum prices. Likewise, Kumba Iron Ore was down 1.9% at R224.32 after also issuing a profit warning. On the flipside, Aspen Pharmacare climbed 2.6% to R434.19 after it bought a drug that prevents blood clotting. Overall, the JSE Top 40 index inched down 0.18% to 43 647 points, with the All-share index falling 0.11% to 49 816 points.


Monday morning saw Gold climb towards a 5-month high as an electoral win by Greece's anti-austerity party sparked fears of renewed instability in Europe, triggering safe-haven demand for bullion. Spot gold ticked up 0.1% to $1,295.41/oz. Greek leftist leader, Alexis Tsipras, was set to become prime minister of the first Eurozone government openly opposed to bailout conditions imposed by the European Union and International Monetary Fund during the economic crisis. In response, Brent crude fell $0.37 to $48.42 a barrel, wiping out light gains made on Friday after the death of the Saudi King Abdullah. 


South Africa's rand surged to its firmest in 19 months against the euro on Friday, as news of the ECB's massive monetary stimulus bolstered appetite for EM assets. The rand was little changed against the dollar, however, with some investors taking a cautious tack ahead of this week's central bank rate decision. Against the euro, the rand strengthened to 12.666, but gave up some of its gains to trade at 12.838 near the end of the session. Investors around the world dumped the Euro, shifting instead into riskier EM assets after the ECB announced a 1 trillion euro stimulus programme on Thursday. 


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