SA Company News:
The JSE All Share Index was up 1.25% to 69 131. Grand Parade Investments has declared a special gross dividend of 88c per share, following the sale of Burger King. London-based, South African owned company Mediclinic International reported a headline earnings per share of 8.8 pence, against 2.4 pence reported for the same period a year ago. Sappi reported profit of $13m (R200m) in its year to end-September, from a loss of $135m in the same period last year. The Foschini Group total revenue for the six months ended 30 September 2021 was R20.4 billion, its gross profit increased by 6% to R9.3 billion and its headline earnings per share grew by 572% to 393.4 cents per share.
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana delivered his first mid-term budget. For the current 2021/2022 fiscal year, government deficit is projected at 7.8% of GDP this fiscal year, versus the 9.3% forecast in the main February budget and gross debt peaking at 78.1% of GDP in 2025/26 versus the 88.9% seen in February. The economy is forecasted to expand 5.1% this year. Mining production shrank by 3.4% from a year earlier in September of 2021. Manufacturing production in South Africa rose by 1.3% year-on-year in September 2021.
The sharp rise in US and Chinese inflation fueled concerns that the two countries would increase interest rates earlier than expected. Europe is once again starting to see an increase in Covid-19 cases, which will make it the fifth wave on the continent. Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark are looking at possible new lockdowns. President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping plan to hold a virtual summit on Monday.
Global Company News:
US stocks lack direction with both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 closing flat as investors are still trying to digest the surprisingly high inflation and how it could impact the Fed’s rate hike plans. Indian shares rose ahead of inflation data, lifted by Indian IT firms following a broad rebound of US technology stocks. Japan’s Toshiba Corp outlined plans to break up into three independent companies by listing its energy and infrastructure, devices and storage business separately.
Gold gained 0.68% to $1 861/oz and Platinum 1.6% to $1 087. OPEC lowered its forecast for growth in world oil demand in 2021 due to weaker demand by major consumers China and India. Brent crude was unchanged at $82.66 a barrel.
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