Our local bourse started the trading session in positive territory on Friday. The all share continued to trade higher as the day progressed buoyed by a weaker rand playing out favourably for rand-hedge stocks. Our market eventually finished the day stronger by 0.44% at the close. The best performer for the day was the Industrial sector, appreciating 0.94% by market close. Leading the upside were Richemont and British American Tobacco climbing by 2.59% and 2.20% respectively. The Financial sector bucked the trend and finished 0.32% lower, driven largely by Standard Bank which closed the day 1.73% softer.
On the company front, Sygnia Limited released a trading update for the year ended 30 September 2017. They have advised that the Company’s earnings per share and headline earnings per share is expected to increase between 19% and 26% after taking into account the result of the rights issue in August 2017. Lonmin released their Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Production Report and Business Update. Net Cash improved to $103 million at 30 September, up from $86 million at 30 June. Tonnes mined have increased for the fourth quarter by 7.5% to 2.3 million tonnes providing a 2.3% improvement for the year to 8.3 million tonnes. Sales of 218,687 Platinum ounces for the fourth quarter increased by 3.6% on the fourth quarter of 2016. Total sales for the year came in at 706,030 ounces, exceeding the guidance of between 650,000 and 680,000 ounces. They have announced that the financial results, which were previously expected to be announced on 13 November 2017, will be delayed. The share closed 28.32% lower.
On the Economic front, The Standard Bank South Africa PMI increased to 49.6 in October of 2017 from 48.5 in September. The UK Services PMI jumped to 55.6 in October of 2017 from 53.6 in September, beating market expectations of 53.3. The trade deficit in the United States widened to USD 43.5 billion in September 2017 from an upwardly revised USD 43.8 billion in August and compared to market expectations of a USD 43.2 billion gap. US unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 4.1% in October as the number of unemployed persons decreased by 281,000 to 6.5 million. The US Composite PMI increased to 55.2 in October of 2017 from 54.8 in September although it was revised lower from an initial estimate of 55.7. The Non-Manufacturing PMI index for the United States increased to 60.1 in October of 2017 from 59.8 in September, beating market expectations of 58.5. Total value traded for the day was R 14, 52 bn.
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