Anglican Church of Southern African

Financial overview

The market staged a dramatic comeback in November with the FTSE/JSE All Share Index ending the month in positive territory, up 1.27%. In a turn of events Resource stocks that have been weighing the index down in the past few months were the top performers, with the sector up 5.12% for the month. Gold counters like Gold Fields, Harmony and AngloGold Ashanti produced strong double digit returns for the month. Financials also held their own, returning 4.74% for the month as the call for a December interest rate cut resounded louder and louder. Industrials were the worst performing sector, down 5.33% for the month. The forward rate agreement curve is beginning to price in higher probabilities of the Monetary Policy Committee cutting interest rates in December as opposed to the first quarter of 2009. This on the back of inflation having rolled over and streams of very poor economic data coming through.

Headline CPI inflation fell by a full 1% in October, to 12.1%, from 13.1% in September, whilst CPIX inflation also declined recording 12.4% in October, lower than September's reading of 13.0%. Similarly, PPI, which is said to lead inflation, also fell bringing the reading to 14.5% year on year from the previous month's reading of 16.0%. Two key factors have driven PPI lower; a decrease in electricity prices and a further drop in commodity prices.

Other data releases pointed to an economy under significant pressure with vehicle and retail sales in decidedly negative territory. Third quarter economic growth showed that the economy had stalled, growing a mere 0.2% quarter on quarter. It came as little surprise that the manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade sectors disappointed, subtracting 2% points from growth while agricultural activity, construction and government services managed to push up GDP growth. Despite the Rand weakening 2.88% to R10.05/$, bonds and property staged a powerful rally during the month, returning 4.6% and 10.7% respectively.


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