Stocks back at record highs | Pfizer vaccine rollout begins in the U.K. |

09/12/2020 Asian equities are higher this morning after fresh record highs for their U.S. counterparts, as hopes for a stimulus deal tempered concern about a surge in coronavirus cases. The dollar slipped with Treasuries. Stocks rose across the region with the exception of Chinese shares which fluctuated after weak consumer price data. S&P 500 futures are ticking higher and European contracts also pointing to further gains. Oil slipped and gold was steady after jumping more than 1% yesterday. Tencent trading 0.43% higher in HK. The JSE Top 40 futures are indicating a better start, up 310 points or 0.57%, with the Rand breaking through 15.00 vs the USD, last at 14.96.

Locally the FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index closed down 0.6% to 59,159.36, The Rand was up 0.9% to 15.0126 per US$, with the Yield on 10 year govt rand bonds that fell 6.7 bps to 8.867%.
South Africa’s statistics office will announce consumer-price inflation data at 10am. Prices are expected to have risen 3.2% in the year, compared with a 3.3% increase in Oct.

  • Ramaphosa Rival to Face South Africa Ruling Party Integrity Body
  • Gold Hits Two-Week High on Rising Virus Cases, Stimulus Outlook
  • South Africa Statistics Agency May Drop Focus on Annualized GDP
  • South Africa Opens New Battle With Unions Over Airline Salaries
  • South Africa’s auditor-general will brief the media about the government’s Covid-19 Relief Fund
  • The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state corruption continues hearings in Johannesburg

EARNINGS:

  • Sanlam (SLM SJ) will provide a 10-month operational update

ECONOMIC DATA (All times Central African Time):

  • 10am: Nov. CPI MoM, est. 0.1%, prior 0.3%
  • 10am: Nov. CPI YoY, est. 3.2%, prior 3.3%
  • 10am: Nov. CPI Core MoM, est. 0.1%, prior 0.2%
  • 10am: Nov. CPI Core YoY, est. 3.4%, prior 3.4%
  • 12:30pm: Nov. SACCI Business Confidence, est. 85, prior 85.7
  • 1pm: Oct. Retail Sales MoM, est. 1.6%, prior 1.1%
  • 1pm: Oct. Retail Sales Constant YoY, est. -2.3%, prior -2.7%

EU/UK
European stocks closed marginally higher yesterday, amid optimism over coronavirus vaccinations and as post-Brexit trade talks between the U.K. and EU continued to yield little progress. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed up 0.2%, with majority of sectors and major bourses in positive territory. London’s FTSE index ended positive by the end of the session after initially trading lower, with Germany’s DAX up a marginally 0.06%, while France’s CAC closed the session down 0.23%. Market attention is heavily-focused on the state of Brexit talks this week. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to head to Brussels this week in a last-ditch attempt to secure a Brexit trade deal. In other news, Britain has rolled out the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech yestersday, making it the first Western country to start a general coronavirus vaccination program. Meanwhile, peer-reviewed results published in the Lancet medical journal Tuesday reiterated that the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford had an average effectiveness of 70%.
US
Stocks rose to fresh all-time highs on last night as Pfizer started to roll out its coronavirus vaccine in the U.K., lifting hope of the economy recovering in the near future. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 104 points, or 0.4%, to close at 30,173. The 30-stock Dow hit an intraday record of 30,246.22. The S&P 500 advanced 0.3% to 3,702. It marks the S&P 500′s first close above 3,700. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.5% to 12,582. All three of the market benchmarks were lower to start the session. Dow Inc., Johnson & Johnson and 3M were among the best-performing Dow stocks, rising more than 1% each. Energy led the S&P 500 higher, popping more than 1.5%. Pfizer shares rose 3.2% and reached their highest level in about two years. BioNTech, which developed the vaccine alongside Pfizer, saw its stock rise by 1.9%. The U.K. ordered enough vaccines for 20 million of its residents to start. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration said the vaccine provides some protection after the first dose. The FDA also said it found no safety concerns with the vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rollout came as traders kept an eye on negotiations for additional fiscal stimulus while the U.S. coronavirus caseload continues to rise.
ASIA
Asia-Pacific markets are trading mostly higher this morning as a coronavirus vaccine rollout commenced in the U.K., fueling some of the optimism among investors. The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 1.04% and the Topix index was up 0.88%. South Korea’s Kospi index gained 1.28%. In Australia, the ASX 200 rose 0.75% with most sectors trading higher. Major miners advanced as shares of Rio Tinto rose 0.2%, Fortescue was up 0.98% and BHP added 0.92%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 1.34%, with Tencent up 0.6%. Chinese mainland markets were mixed: The Shanghai composite rose 0.11%, the Shenzhen composite was down 0.35% and the Shenzhen component fell 0.31%. Data showed China’s consumer price index fell in November for the first time in about a decade as food prices declined.
COMMODITIES
Oil extended losses after an industry report pointed to gains in American crude and fuel stockpiles as the market waited for a U.S. stimulus package to offset near-term demand risks in the world’s largest economy. Futures in New York traded near $45 a barrel after dropping 0.4% on Tuesday in a second daily decline.
Gold declined from near the highest in two weeks as investors weighed vaccine rollouts amid surging coronavirus infections in some parts of the world against fresh hopes for a stimulus deal in the U.S. Spot gold declined 0.7% to $1,856.99 an ounce, after climbing to $1,875.39 yesterday, the highest intraday level since Nov. 23. Silver dropped 1.1%, platinum was little changed, and palladium slipped 0.1%.
Iron ore holds at $145, the highest in more than seven years on optimism resilient Chinese demand and building supply risks will see a late-year surge extend into 2021.