The deadliest terrorist attack in the UK since the 2005 London bombings took place yesterday at an Ariana Grande concert – 22 people have died and 59 have been reported as wounded.
- Over the past five weeks, the US dollar has weakened by more than 5% against the euro.
- Donald Trump referred to the investigation into Russian involvement in his election campaign as a ‘witch hunt’ – the same thing Richard Nixon said about the Watergate investigations. Robert Mueller has been appointed as Special Counsel to continue the investigation.
- UK year-on-year inflation came in at 2.7% for April, above market expectations of 2.6%.
- The UK’s unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in March, a 10-year low.
- In Japan, the economy saw its fifth consecutive quarter of growth, expanding 2.2% quarter-on-quarter in March 2017.
- The Brazilian real dropped 4.86% against the US dollar this week, partly the result of the President being implicated in attempts to bribe witnesses in investigations into the country’s corruption scandal.
- The JSE ALSI has had a strong comeback from the lows of March, gaining 8.8% this year. For the year to date, the All Bond Index is up 4.6%, cash is up 2.9% and SA Listed Property is up 1.6%.
- The JSE Industrial Index has returned a remarkable 14.7% this year, driven by the following strong performers: Naspers (up 40.3%), Richemont (21.8%) and British American Tobacco (19.4%). Financials have returned 1.5% and the Resources Index 3.4% so far this year. The Banks Index has struggled since the downgrades by Standard & Poors and Fitch and has lost 6.2% in 2017.
- March retail sales were slightly ahead of expectations, but first quarter 2017 retail sales dipped by 1.1% quarter-on-quarter. This is the worst performance in a quarter since the global financial crisis in 2008.
- The rand closed the week 0.96% stronger.