US President Donald Trump bemused and annoyed the world at large again this week by saying white supremacists and left-wing counter protesters were equally to blame for the violence in Charlottesville. Read on for more local and international news.
- Steve Bannon is the latest member of team Trump to resign or be fired from the White House.
- The world was rocked by terrorist attacks last week, this time in Barcelona, elsewhere in Spain, Finland, and Russia not to mention the numerous attacks in Iraq, Nigeria, Colombia and Afghanistan.
- Global trade—which has been weak for some time—continues to improve on the back of synchronised global growth, according to RMB Morgan Stanley. Global container port throughput grew by its highest margin in six years at 6.7% year-on-year in the first half of 2017. Southeast Asia showed the best growth at 9.3%.
- US CPI climbed by 2.1% year-on-year in July, suggesting underlying inflation is increasing slowly due to factors such as technology, moderate growth, competition and globalisation.
- Japan’s GDP growth of 1% for Q2 2017 outperformed the Q1 2017 figure of 0.3% and market expectations of 0.6% quarter-on-quarter growth.
- EU GDP grew by 2.2% year-on-year in July, thanks to the robust performance from Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
- The MSCI World Index of mostly developed markets is up 10.2% in dollars in 2017, excluding dividends.
- The MSCI Europe Index, which includes the UK, has dropped 2.5% in dollar terms since its recent spike. This index has gained 14.9% in 2017, so far.
- The euro has gained 7.2% against the pound in 2017, reaching an eight-year high.
- Due to the strong euro, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 Index has declined by 6.3% in euro terms since its May high.
- The MSCI USA Index has returned 8.5% in 2017. The S&P500 Index is up 8.9%, while the Nasdaq Index has increased by 15.5% in 2017.
- In a bid to purge rebels who voted against Jacob Zuma in the recent no-confidence vote, the ANC is taking steps against Makhosi Khoza, Derek Hanekom and other ANC MPs.
- The ALSI Index has a solid year-to-date performance of 11%, listed South African property has returned 7.1%, the All Bond Index 6.9% and cash 4.8%.
- SA retail sales were better than expected in June 2017, up 2.9% year-on-year in real terms.
- On Wednesday, the rand closed at R13.21 to the dollar, R15.59 to the euro, and R16.89 to the pound.