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Market Review

South Africa Market Review

South African markets ended in negative territory yesterday. Retailers, Foschini Group, Cashbuild and Mr Price Group retreated 5.0%, 4.7% and 2.8%, respectively, following an unexpected monthly decline in South African retail sales in January. Banking sector stocks, Standard Bank Group, Nedbank Group and FirstRand lost 2.6%, 2.2% and 2.1%, respectively. Downbeat 1H13 headline earnings led Afgri to shed 0.2%. On the other hand, gold miners, Sibanye Gold, DRDGold and Gold Fields rallied 3.1%, 2.0% and 1.0%, respectively. Robust FY12 earnings helped Control Instruments Group to advance 1.7%. Times Media Group added 0.6%, after it reported a rise in its revenue for six months ended 31 December 2012. The JSE All Share Index shed 0.2% to close at 40,876.10.

UK Market Review

UK markets closed in the red yesterday, following downbeat industrial production data from the eurozone. Standard Chartered, Serco and Hargreaves Lansdown dropped 3.8%, 0.9% and 0.1%, respectively, as the stocks traded ex-dividend. Miners, Evraz, Antofagasta and Vedanta Resources retreated 3.7%, 3.0% and 2.3%, respectively, in line with the fall in metal prices. G4S declined 2.5%, after it announced the resignation of its Chief Financial Officer, Trevor Dighton. Royal Bank of Scotland Group and HSBC Holdings declined 2.0% and 0.4%, respectively. Bucking the trend, Prudential surged 9.3%, after posting a significant rise in its FY12 operating profit, backed by strong performance in Asia and the US. The FTSE 100 Index lost 0.4% to close at 6,481.50.

US Market Review

US markets ended higher yesterday, following upbeat US retail sales data for February. MakeMusic rallied 31.1%, after it agreed to be acquired by LaunchEquity Partners LLC for $23.80mn. Research In Motion soared 8.1%, after one of its partner placed an order of 1.00mn BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Netflix jumped 5.6%, after it introduced a new social feature integrated with Facebook. Boeing rose 0.7%, after the US Federal Aviation Administration approved its plan to test the redesigned 787 battery system. However, Dole Food plunged 9.0%, after it swung to a 4Q12 loss. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.1% to settle at 1,554.52, while the DJIA Index climbed 5.22 points to close at 14,455.28. The NASDAQ Composite Index advanced 0.1% to finish at 3,245.12.

Asia Market Review

Asian markets are trading mostly lower this morning. In Japan, JGC advanced 1.0%, following news that the engineering firm bagged a $2.00bn order from Petroliam Nasional Bhd to construct an additional liquefied natural gas plant in Malaysia. In Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific Airways slid 1.7%, as the firm projected challenges in recovery of the freight market after posting a sharp annual drop in its FY12 profit. In Seoul, Lotte Tour Development slumped 14.9%, on reports that the company has lost an investment of KRW151.00bn in a property development project at Yongsan. The Nikkei 225 Index is trading 0.4% higher at 12,282.95, while the Kospi Index is trading 0.8% lower at 22,415.12. The Hang Seng Index has dropped 0.7% to trade at 22,415.12.

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