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Market News 17/12/2014

South Africa

Local stocks fell to their lowest level in 2 months on Monday, as the Top-40 extended its losing run into a 3rd straight session. SABMiller took the most points off the Top-40 index, falling 3.4% to R594. Mining shares were also under pressure on concerns about global demand, as BHP Billiton tumbled 3% to R237.23 while Anglo American slipped 2.2% to R204.39. However, Sasol was in demand, rising 0.64% to R395.29, after the price of Brent crude climbed. On the whole, the Top-40 index ended 1.5% lower at 41 755 while the All-share index was off 1.3% at 47 397.

Commodities

Gold steadied at just below $1,200/oz on Wednesday ahead of the outcome of the U.S. Fed’s last policy meeting of the year that may signal how soon it will raise interest rates. Investors were also keeping an eye on Russia after the rouble plunged more than 11% against the dollar on Tuesday despite a hefty interest rate hike. Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,197.61/oz after a volatile session on Tuesday. Brent crude futures fell for a 5th straight session on Tuesday to end below $60 a barrel, as it dropped $1.45 to trade at $59.61.

Currencies

On Monday, South Africa's rand weakened against the U.S. dollar, pressured by a gloomy economic outlook and dragged down with other emerging markets in an unrelenting oil sell-off. The rand had rallied in early trade after credit agencies reaffirmed its current status, but the relief at avoiding another downgrade was short-lived as traders chose to focus on Fitch's gloomy tone, after the ratings agency highlighted concerns about South Africa's gaping current account and budget deficits. Near the end of the session, the rand had weakened more than 1% to 11.7225/$. 

 

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