Stocks Slip as Record Month Nears

30/11/2020 Stocks in Asia swung from gains to losses along with U.S. and European equity futures as investors monitored progress on the path to a coronavirus vaccine on the final day of a record month for global equities. Oil retreated after an OPEC+ agreement to postpone an output increase planned for January remained elusive before a meeting Monday. Gold dropped and is set for worst month in 4 years. IG Top 40 – 302 points.

On the local front the JSE and Rand continued to trade near their best levels since the first quarter on Friday as investors assessed a strong rally in asset prices in November on the back of US president-elect Joe Biden’s victory and announcements of potential Covid-19 vaccines, despite a continued rise in infections in SA and other parts of the world. The All Share was 0.17% lower but still near its best levels since February.

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• Barloworld.
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• Tharisa 7:05am.
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8am: (SA) Oct. Money Supply M3 YoY, est. 9.6%, prior 9.48%
8am: (SA) Oct. Private Sector Credit YoY, est. 3.3%, prior 3.12%
2pm: (SA) Oct. Trade Balance Rand, est. 26.3b, prior 33.5b
2pm: (SA) Oct. Monthly Budget Balance, prior -42.9b

European markets had a touch of caution ahead of a barrage of economic data and as questions emerged over trial data on AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, but that wasn’t going to derail a November to remember. Germany’s, France’s, Italy’s and Spain’s main bourses all squeezed out gains and government bond yields stayed at lows after the European Central Bank (ECB) reinforced expectations of further stimulus next month. London’s FTSE was fractionally lower with some last-minute Brexit nerves, but with Wall Street pointing to a post-Thanksgiving rise, MSCI’s main world index was readying for another all-time high.
US Futures point lower this morning as US markets looks set to finish November with historically strong gains. The Dow has risen 12.9% so far this month, on pace for its best monthly performance since January 1987, as promising vaccine developments boosted confidence of a smooth economic reopening. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have climbed 11.3% and 11.9%, respectively, in November, both on track to post their biggest monthly advance since April. Small caps have been on a tear this month as investors piled into beaten-down value names. The Russell 2000 has rallied 20.6% so far in November, on track for its best month ever.
Stocks in Asia-Pacific are seiing mixed moves this morning as investors digested the release of China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for November. China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday that the official manufacturing PMI for November was at 52.1. That was above expectations for a 51.5 reading forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll. Mainland China trades higher with the rest of the region trading lower. Japan’s retail sales rose 6.4% year-on-year in October, according to a preliminary report by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The data was in line with a median market forecast, according to Reuters. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan declined 0.42%. Markets in India are closed on Monday for a holiday.
Gold slipped again this morning and was on track for its worst month in four years, as optimism over a coronavirus vaccine-led economic rebound that propelled equities to record highs dulled the metal’s safe-haven appeal. Gold is trading 1.01% lower at $ 1770 per ounce, Silver slipped 3.2% to $21.96 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.9% to $954.64 and palladium was down 0.4% at $2,416.22.
On the Oil front, a panel of OPEC+ ministers couldn’t reach an agreement on whether to delay January’s oil-output increase, leaving the matter unresolved before a full meeting of the cartel and its allies today. Brent oil declined 1.2% to $47.61 a barrel. Prices have advanced 27% this month and are set for the biggest monthly gain since May. Unless the agreement is revised this week, they will restart about 1.9 million barrels a day of halted output, potentially pushing the global market back into surplus and undermining the recent surge in crude prices.
Have a great week ahead as we head into December, ( scary that )