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South African Markets
South African markets ended in the red yesterday. Gold Fields, Harmony Gold Mining and DRDGold tumbled 4.5%, 3.1% and 2.8%, respectively. Platinum miners, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum Holdings dropped 3.3% and 1.7%, respectively. RMB Holdings retreated 3.2%, despite reporting positive 1H13 results. MTN Group slipped 1.3%, after it reported FY12 earnings that trailed market expectations. On the other hand, strong 1H13 earnings led MMI Holdings to gain 2.0% . Eqstra Holdings advanced 1.6%, after the company announced that it would resume contract mining at Rio Tinto’s Benga coking coal project in Mozambique and would receive compensation for the suspension of operations. The JSE All Share Index fell 0.3% to close at 40,437.25.
UK markets closed lower yesterday, ahead of the Bank of England’s monetary policy meeting later today. CRH, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton declined 4.2%, 2.0% and 1.4%, respectively, as the stocks traded ex-dividend. Imperial Tobacco Group and British American Tobacco retreated 2.4% and 1.3%, respectively, after a report indicated that the British government would introduce plain-packaging laws for cigarette packets. Standard Chartered, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland Group dropped between 1.2% and 3.3%. On the flipside, Vodafone Group surged 6.8%, following reports that Verizon Communications is considering various options with regards to its relationship with the company. The FTSE 100 Index shed 0.1% to close at 6,427.64.
US markets ended mostly higher yesterday, after the Beige Book survey indicated that the US economy is recovering at a modest to moderate pace. Big Lots jumped 6.1%, following upbeat 4Q12 profit. Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold climbed 4.1%, after it indicated that it might double the sales of copper concentrate to China in the next three years. Johnson Controls rose 2.0%, amid reports that it is exploring a sale of part of its automotive interiors and electronics unit. Dell advanced 1.8%, amid news that Carl Icahn, an activist investor, bought around 100.00mn shares in the company. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.1% to settle at 1,541.46, while the DJIA Index advanced 0.3% to close at 14,296.24. The NASDAQ Composite Index eased 0.1% to finish at 3,222.37.
Asian markets are trading mostly higher this morning, with the Nikkei 225 breaking above the 12,000 mark for the first time since September 2008 following better-than-expected US economic data. In Japan, Olympus climbed 5.2%, on news that the firm would slash more of its interest-bearing debt load than planned by the end of FY14. In Hong Kong, China Water Property Group soared 26.7%, after the company stated that it expects to record a substantial increase in its turnover and net profit for FY12. In Seoul, Samsung Electronics slid 2.2%, as investors cashed in on recent gains. The Nikkei 225 Index is trading 0.6% higher at 12,004.37, while the Kospi Index is trading 0.8% lower at 2,005.07. The Hang Seng Index has gained 0.2% to trade at 22,820.02.
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