President Jacob Zuma survives for now as Ramaphosa calls for unity within the party ahead of Wednesdays meeting, where a proposal to order Zuma to step down will be discussed. More bad news for Steinhoff International Holdings [JSE:SNH] as the European Central Bank sells Steinhoff bonds, the share closed at R8,68, down 1.36%.
It was a good day in the market with all sectors closing in the green, the All-Share index up 0.55%, blue-chip Top40 up 0.59%, industrials up by 0.34% and financials up by 0.26%. Resource stocks lead the way up by 1.55%, with BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] and Anglo American [JSE:AGL] up 2.82% and 2.06% respectively. Our local currency gave back some of the gains after a 2 week rally, trading at R12.43 to the dollar, weaker by 0.82%.
Gold eased to $1320/ounce as the dollar gained support despite last Friday's disappointing U.S. employment data. Investors will now be focusing on the Fed after San Francisco Fed president John Williams comments on Saturday that the Fed will raise interest rates three times this year.
Concerns remain that rising U.S. production could undermine production cut efforts by OPEC, as a result brent crude is down slightly, currently trading at $67.55/bbl.
Global stocks continue to rally with their best start to a year in eight years driven by strong global growth and low inflation. Today saw Asian shares close higher with markets in Tokyo closed for a holiday and China’s Shanghai Composite up by 0.5%. Over in Europe shares were bolstered by better than expected confidence and retail sales data, while U.S. indices opened flat with little changed following last week’s record highs.
Uncertainty continues to plague Europe, as Chancellor Angela Merkel makes a last-ditch attempt to form a coalition in Germany’s longest political deadlock since World War II between her bloc party and the main opposition, the SPD party. Merkel is seeking a commitment by latest Thursday this week to keep the current group of leaders in power after months of uncertainty which has already impacted several decisions on the euro-area policy, government spending and migration. While Theresa May has started the new year with reports that she is readying a cabinet reshuffle to change the image of the Conservative Party with the promotion of fresh faces from a younger and more diverse generation. May hopes this will secure that she sees Brexit to completion and is around in 2022 to stand for re-election.
Monday in the US saw Steve Bannon issues an apology for comments made in Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” while fire fighters extinguish a fire that broke out at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, where 2 people were injured.
Bitcoin drops to below $15,000 as South Korean regulators review accounts and concerns about lingering demand from Asia. Ethereum, the world's third-largest cryptocurrency by market value, hits a record high of $1,266.