- The MSCI World Index has gained 0.4%, over the past week, while the MSCI Emerging Market (EM) Index fell by 1%. Since December 2016, the EM Index has risen by 13.4%, all in US dollar terms.
- In the US, shares continue to surge in reaction to Trump’s speech last week, strong consumer confidence, higher house prices, and declining employment claims.
- Over the last few years, US manufacturing has been restricted by the strong dollar and excess inventories. There are indications of a prosperous time ahead for manufacturing, February ISM (Institute of Supply Management) PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) rose to 57.7 in February. This is the highest level in two and a half years.
- In the US, in 2017 so far, the S&P 500 Index is up by 6.4%, the health care sector 9.5%, the IT sector 8.9%, financials 7.2% and consumer discretionary 6.6%. Telecoms has performed the most poorly by falling 4.8%, followed by the energy sector at -3.7%.
- Over the past six months, the S&P 500 Index has returned 9.7%. Within that performance financials performed the best gaining 25.2%, then IT 13.4%, and then industrials 12.1%. The worst performance was by the real estate sector reducing by 3.5%.
- Euro Area composite PMI reached 56.0 and services 55.5. Both were considerably higher than January releases. These PMI’s clearly signal that growth remains robust in Q1 2017.
- In SA, petrol decreased marginally by 8 cents to the litre due to the strength of the rand against the dollar. The cost of petrol per litre has gone from R13.60 to R13.30.
- COSATU has agreed to a national minim wage deal. The deal includes reforms intended to reduce the length and violence of strike action.
- Treasury officials announced that the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme, Sugar Tax, and charging Trusts with a donation tax on their interest-free loans, are all potential revenue generators.
- After an unexpectedly strong start to 2017, Absa’s PMI suggests that the manufacturing sector maintained its strength in February. The seasonally adjusted PMI rose to 52.5 in February from 50.9 in January, after averaging just 47.9 during the second half of 2016.
- January twin deficit data showed a larger than expected merchandise trade deficit of -R10.8 billion, while the main budget fiscal data confirmed that tax receipts remain under pressure. This trade deficit compares with a revised trade surplus of R12.4 billion in December 2016.
Source: Dynasty, Stanlib, Efficient Select, Prescient, Moneyweb & Bloomberg Markets etc.