The local market bounced on Monday ahead of a busy week on the world economic data front.
The US non-farm payroll numbers expected to be released on Friday will be the highlight of the week.
The Nikkei advanced on Monday, adding 0.52% to trade at 24 245 points. While equity markets were closed in China and Hong Kong for a national day holiday, there was thin trading in the Japanese market as most investors shied away from the markets.
Despite the public holiday in China, manufacturing data came in worse than expected, with the Caixin Manufacturing PMI coming in at 50.0, down from 50.6 and missing the markets expectation of 50.9.
Locally, the Department of Energy announced a significant rise in fuel prices. Come Wednesday, South African motorists will have to fork out 99 cents and 100c more for a litre of 93 and 95 (ULP & LRP) respectively, while diesel users will have to pay 124c more per litre.
On the JSE, the Alexander Forbes [JSE:AFR] share price surged 12.53% after the financial services company appointed Dawie de Villiers as new Group Chief Executive. De Villiers is replacing Andrew Darfoor, who was fired last week over "lost confidence and trust", and will assume office of the CEO from November 1, 2018.
The Resources and Financial indices pulled back 0.03% and 0.47% respectively, while Industrials firmed 0.48%.
The All share index closed the day in the black, up 0.15%, while the Top-40 index advanced 0.13% to trade at 55 789 and 49 587 points respectively.
The rand pulled back a little on Monday to trade at R14.20/$ at 17:00. The local unit also eased against the euro and pound, trading at R16.45 and R18.53 respectively.
South African 10-year bond (R186) yields were also softer on the day and were trading at 9.04% at 17:00.
Monday also saw the end of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) as the “unfair deal” was relegated to the abyss of history and a deal which US President Donald Trump believes will be better for America was tabled to the members.
The road ahead is not going to be easy for the three neighbouring countries, but this provides a platform for greater cooperation in the future.
Commodities were generally softer on the day as gold pulled back to $1 187/ounce. Brent crude continued to advance as the market speculates that stiffer sanctions will be levied against Iran. Market analysts predict that oil prices could retest the $100/barrel-mark before the end of the year. At the time of writing, a barrel of Brent Crude was changing hands at $83.22.
Cryptocurrencies were weaker on the day, as Bitcoin and Ethereum shed 1.16% and 4.38% to trade at $6 581 and $227 respectively.
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