This has been a week of shocking events: terrorist attacks in London, US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Change Accord, and an email leak in South Africa that has surfaced new information about the Gupta family’s dubious relationships with state enterprises and with key politicians. Read further for more news highlights from the week …
- The UK is on high alert following terrorist attacks in London.
- Polls indicate that the gap between the Conservatives and Labour is narrowing ahead of the UK election on Thursday, 8 June. If Prime Minister Theresa May returns to Parliament with a reduced majority, it could signal political instability as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU.
- President Trump has withdrawn the US from the international climate accord, joining Syria and Nicaragua as the two only other countries who do not participate.
- The US created a disappointing 138 000 jobs in May, with no acceleration in wage growth. Unemployment fell to 4.3%, but labour force participation also declined.
- In June 2017, the petrol price will decrease by 25c per litre.
- Fitch Rating Agency left South Africa’s foreign and local currency credit ratings unchanged, at BB+ with a stable outlook. S&P Global ratings kept its rating at BB+ with a negative outlook. Both agencies cited concerns over South Africa’s political environment as well as slow economic growth.
- The JSE All Share Index declined by 2.1% last week. The financial and resource sectors fell 2.21%, while the JSE Industrial 25 Index dropped by 2.09%.
- Vehicle sales for May decreased by 2.6% year-on-year—41,783 vehicles were sold compared to 42,912 vehicles in May last year.
- Unemployment is at a record high in South Africa, jumping to 27.7% in the first quarter of 2017. If the definition of unemployment is expanded to include people who are discouraged from finding work, this increases to 36.4%, up from 35.6% in the fourth quarter of 2016. Youth (younger than 25) unemployment is 65.7%.
- The Daily Maverick introduced its new investigative team, Scorpio, and published articles, based on leaked emails, that implicate President Zuma’s son, Duduzane Zuma, and the Gupta family in corrupt activities.
Source: Dynasty, Stanlib, Efficient Select, Prescient, Moneyweb, and Bloomberg Markets etc.