SA Company News:
The JSE closed 0.64% weaker at 63784 mainly cushioned by a weak currency. Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) announced that it has signed agreements with SA lenders to refinance its existing debt obligations and remove the undertaking for a capital raise subject to the completion of the sale of its R515m PPC Lime business by the end-October 2021. PPC share price rose by 4.6%. Barloworld has begun a formal process to sell its underperforming logistics division to focus on its core earthmoving equipment, automotive, and food procurement businesses.
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) reported an R33m loss for the year to end-March 2021 far better than the R3.79bn loss it reported in the corresponding period the previous year. South Africa recorded its first quarterly budget surplus since 2018 of R9.8 billion or 0.6% of gross domestic product compared with a deficit of 2.2% of GDP in the previous three months. Rating agency S&P raised its 2021 GDP forecast for SA to 4.6% from 4.2%. The SA tourism sector lost an estimated R164 billion in spending by domestic and inbound visitors to the country in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Envoys from the UK, US, France, Germany, and the EU arrive in SA to meet the government to explore the potential for a climate finance transaction that would assist in the world’s ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Investors are closely watching movements in U.S. markets after higher bond yields prompted sharp losses on Wall Street as well as in Europe. China is facing a power squeeze from a shortage of coal supplies, tougher emissions standards and strong demand from manufacturers which have triggered widespread curbs on usage with some factories stopping operations due to power shortages.
Global Company News:
China Evergrande Group had agreed to sell its stake in Shengjing Bank for $1.5 billion, raising hopes the property company will be able to make Wednesday’s $47.5 million bond interest payment deadline. Asian shares lost ground as worries about economic growth in China combined with fears of a global slowdown and a strong dollar pushed equities markets lower. Amazon revealed a camera-equipped home robot called Astro that users can deploy to patrol their houses making science fiction a reality. The FTSE 100 was down 0.5% to 7,028 led by losses in heavyweight financial stocks. The Dow Jones fell 569 points to close at 34299.
Gold was up 0.20% to $1,738/oz while platinum had risen 0.61% to $968.24. Brent crude was 0.54% weaker at $77.80 a barrel.
The local currency appears to have steadied around 15.11/USD and is trading at a five-week low. US Dollar remains firm as the central bank signaled it could start reducing asset purchases as soon as November. EUR / USD 1.1684.
Cross Currencies ($)