26/03/2021 World Markets all point higher after the US bounced hard off early lows as vaccine distribution bolstered economic optimism despite a climb in global Covid-19 cases. President Joe Biden doubled his target for administering the vaccines crucial for economic revival. U.S. banks extended gains in after-hours trading as the Federal Reserve signaled an end to pandemic-era dividend curbs. Ten-year U.S. Treasury yields rose slightly after another lackluster auction of seven-year notes. The reaction was muted compared with the upheaval in bonds and interest-rate sensitive stocks following poor demand at last month’s sale. The dollar headed for its best week in three. Crude prices veered back up toward $60 a barrel as investors weighed the implications of a huge container ship still stuck in the Suez Canal.
The local bourse fell for a fourth day in a row, reaching its worst level since early February. The market wasn’t helped by the possibility that interest rates could rise as soon as the second quarter. The Reserve Bank’s MPC kept the repo rate at 3.5% on Thursday, in a unanimous decision. The move was in line with a median forecast of 16 economists in a Bloomberg survey. The All Share closed down 0.73% at 64783, the Rand this morning is firmer at R 14.96/$ and R 20.58/GBP. We in for a better open this morning after the US bounced hard off early session lows, Asian markets are trading up and Tencent rallies 2.25%. IG Top 40 Index is up 670 points.
• South Africa Vaccination Plan Upended With Shots in Short Supply.
• South Africa to Consider More Covid Restrictions Before Holiday.
• South Africa’s $67 Billion Infrastructure Drive Gathers Pace.
• Toilet Paper Is Next Likely Victim of World’s Container Crisis.
• Salim Abdool Karim announces end of term as co-chair of Covid-19 advisory committee.
• Union threatens strike at Massmart over retrenchments
European stocks closed lower on Thursday, as investors considered the ramifications of a surge in coronavirus cases in the region, while comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell deepened losses. The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished 0.14% lower after trimming losses during afternoon trade. Oil and gas stocks lost 2% to lead losses while health care stocks bucked the trend to add 0.6%. Major bourses finished mixed as the German DAX and French CAC managed to end the session in positive territory. FTSE – 0.57%, DAX + 0.08%, CAC + 0.09%
Overnight US markets bounced in afternoon trade, the Dow swinging more than 500 poincts as cyclial trades gained steam. The strong close broke a recent trend of poor finishes on Wall Street and trimmed the market’s week-to-date losses. The Dow and S&P 500 are now down less than 0.1% for the week, while the Nasdaq Composite is in the red by 1.8%. The Dow closed up 0.62%, the S&P + 0.52% and the Nasdaq + 0.12%. Futures were boosted by bank stocks, which rose in extended trading when the Fed announced that banks could resume buybacks and raise dividends starting at the end of June. On the economic data front, investors will get another look at inflation possibilities on Friday, with reports due for personal income and consumption expenditures in February.
Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose in Friday trade, with shares in mainland China and Japan among the biggest gainers regionally. By Friday afternoon, the Shanghai composite was up 1.37% while the Shenzhen component jumped 2.257%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 1.14%, 700 HK + 2.25%. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.51% in afternoon trade while the Topix index rose 1.28%. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.79% and the ASX 200 + 0.54%MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares gained 1.06%.
Oil prices bounced back on Friday from a plunge a day earlier on concerns that a large container ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal may block the vital shipping lane for weeks, squeezing supply. But lingering worries that a fresh wave of lockdowns in Europe and elsewhere may slow a recovery of global fuel demand are expected to limit price gains. Both benchmarks are on track for a weekly loss of more than 3%, following a more than 6% decline last week. Brent + 0.82% $ 62.46, WTI + 1.06% $ 59.18
Gold prices were on course for a first weekly decline in three as elevated Treasury yields and a firm U.S. dollar dented safe-haven bullion’s appeal even as the metal steadied on the day. For the week, the metal has lost over 1% as the U.S. dollar climbed against a basket of major currencies, leaping over a four-month high on Thursday. Gold is flat this morning at $ 1727, Silver rose 0.1% to $25.05, holding above an over two-month low of $24.39 per ounce hit on Thursday. Palladium rose 0.63% to $2,635 and platinum is up 0.64% to $ 1159.