SA Company News:
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange All-Share Index fell 3.1% to 70 666 with Anglo American falling 8%, Sasol down 6% and Richemont down 5%.Standard Bank reported that its earnings rose 28% in the first three months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. The 50-basis points interest rate increase in SA, one in January and the other in March, meant that the bank has been collecting much higher net interest income than in the first quarter of 2021.In a trading update for the year to end-March, retailer The Foschini Group (TFG), said that its headline profit should be more than 692.6 cents per share, compared to 197.9 cents per share in the previous year. TFG said the flood damage has not been material to them and that the group have appropriate insurance cover and has notified its insurers accordingly. TFG’s share price was 1.42% higher at R142.39 following the update.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his weekly letter to the public, that rolling blackouts are costly for the economy, causing significant frustration and hardship for all its citizens and businesses. His government is now working on a plan to ensure load shedding comes to a permanent end. This includes the revival of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which had stalled in 2015, and the raising of the licensing threshold for new generation projects from 1MW to 100MW. Efforts were also underway to speed up environmental authorization and other approvals, he said. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has found an increase in the presence of two subvariants of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5, which have increased in prevalence from 16% to 44% overnight. The sub-variants have been of interest to the World Health Organization, with no evidence yet of increased severity of symptoms or immune escape. The latest Covid-19 figures report 30 086 active cases, 30 daily deaths, and 1 954 new cases.
China pledged to boost monetary support for its Covid-afflicted economy. The People’s Bank of China said it will keep liquidity reasonably ample and boost the healthy stable development of the financial markets. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the Russian war on Ukraine, the spike in commodity prices, and a slowdown in China have created significant uncertainty globally. The IMF said it expects Asia’s economy to expand 4.9% this year, down 0.5% from its previous projection made in January.
HSBC posted a pre-tax profit of $4.2 billion for the first quarter, ahead of market expectations, but this still represented a 27% drop from a year ago as it made provisions for loans in Russia and China. Hong Kong’s benchmark, the Hang Seng Index bounced 0.38% to 19 944. The tech sector rallied 5.3%, boosted by firms such as Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group which were up 1.9% and 3% respectively. The Shanghai Composite fell 1.44% to 2 886 with investors worried that the strict policies China has in place to combat Covid-19 will further disrupt global supply chains. Wall Street’s main index, the Dow Jones closed 238 points higher at 34 049 and the S&P 500 ticked up 0.6% to 4 296. Twitter gained 5.6% on the news that the social-media company’s board will be taken over by Elon Musk, Tesla CEO for R689 billion. Alphabet and Microsoft will report earnings after the close today.
Gold is down 0.87% to $1 899/oz, while Platinum is lower by 0.11% to $927/oz. Brent crude is flat at $102 a barrel.
The rand traded at R15.73 against the US Dollar, R20.02 against British Pound, and R16.83 against the Euro. The Euro is slightly firmer against the US Dollar to trade at $1.07.
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|Source: Moneyweb & Investing.com|