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South African Markets
South African markets ended in the red on Friday. Impala Platinum Holdings slumped 6.2%, following its announcement on Thursday that it would issue convertible bonds to shore up its balance sheet. Other mining sector stocks, Gold Fields retreated 5.4%, while Petmin and AngloGold Ashanti declined 5.2% each, tracking lower metal prices. On the contrary, an increase in its revenue for four months ended 31 January 2013 led Pioneer Foods to gain 2.9%. Anglo American rose 1.9%, following news that its diamond-mining unit, De Beers, is spending around R20.00bn on a new mine in South Africa and on the back of a positive FY13 outlook. The JSE All Share Index fell 0.1% to close at 40,681.34.
UK markets closed marginally higher on Friday, as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the conclusion of the G20 meeting. Anglo American gained 1.3%, after its Chief Executive Officer provided a positive outlook for FY13 following challenging FY12. Banking sector stocks, Barclays and HSBC Holdings climbed 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively. BG Group advanced 0.4%, despite an announcement that its Chief Financial Officer would step down from his position. On the flipside, chemicals group, Johnson Matthey retreated 0.2%, after it stated that it is to lose its commission income from restructuring a metal supply deal with Anglo American Platinum. The FTSE 100 Index edged up 0.90 points to close at 6,328.26.
US markets ended mostly in negative territory on Friday. B&G Foods tumbled 6.8%, after it reported lower-than-forecast 4Q12 earnings. Wal-Mart Stores dropped 2.2%, following reports that its February sales had a worst monthly start. Dismal 1Q13 results and downbeat 2Q13 guidance dragged Agilent Technologies 5.2% lower. Apple declined 1.4%, despite reports indicating that hedge-fund giants, David Einhorn and George Soros, hiked their stakes in the company. However, Best Buy surged 7.4%, amid reports that its founder might cancel his plan to acquire the company. The S&P 500 Index eased 0.1% to settle at 1,519.79, while the DJIA Index added 0.1% to close at 13,981.76. The NASDAQ Composite Index slipped 0.2% to finish at 3,192.03.
Asian markets are trading mostly lower this morning. The Group of 20 nations, at the conclusion of their meeting over the weekend, refrained from censuring Japan for undertaking policies to weaken its currency. In Japan, Fast Retailing climbed 2.5%, amid news that it has expressed an interest in US-based retailer, Gap Inc. Toyota Motor gained 2.3%, as a weaker Japanese yen bolstered its earnings prospects. In Hong Kong, Wal-Mart’s lacklustre February sales report weighed on its supplier, Li & Fung, down by 1.4%. In Seoul, S-Oil Corporation and SK Innovation fell 0.2% each, in line with the fall in crude oil prices. The Nikkei 225 Index is trading 2.3% higher at 11,425.44, while the Kospi Index is trading 0.3% down at 1,976.31. The Hang Seng Index has declined 0.4% to trade at 23,340.48.
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