Market headlines

Lessons from Trump for SA’s auditors and directors fund

We had another quiet week on the JSE, which was handy as it gave us all the opportunity to follow the gripping and bizarre goings-on in the US.

All in all it wasn’t a great week for US President Donald Trump, but he doesn’t seem to notice these things. And he may be able to persuade himself that the release of tapes of his phone call with Georgia’s secretary of state (the recording of which is apparently permissible under that state’s law) was just more proof of how everyone is out to get him and will stop at nothing.

Record rise in government debt will hit emerging markets harder: Fitch

A record increase in government debt globally will hit emerging markets disproportionately, with developing nations not benefiting from lower interest rates and debt service burdens providing a cause for concern.

Global sovereign debt soared by $10 trillion to $77.8 trillion, or 94% of world gross domestic product, as governments boosted spending on health and shored up their economies roiled by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Fitch calculated.

SA private sector activity little changed in Dec -PMI

South African private sector activity was little changed in December as demand stalled and there were renewed falls in purchases and inventories, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dipped to 50.2 in December from 50.3 in November, its lowest reading for three months but still above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction. The largest component of the PMI, the new orders index, revealed broadly unchanged sales volumes. Output was also largely flat.

Absa PMI declines further in December

South Africa’s seasonally-adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined further in December, as business activity and new sales worsened, a survey showed on Friday.

The index, a gauge of manufacturing activity in Africa’s most industrialised economy, fell to 50.3 points in December from 52.6 points in November, staying just above the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction.