- Equity markets ignored local data yesterday and took their cues from global markets as stagflation risks weighed on some stock markets. The Johannesburg All-Share Index weakened 0.17%, while the Top 40 Index fell 0.27%. On Tuesday, data had shown that manufacturing output rose 1.8% year-on-year in August, while mining output rose 2.0% on an annual basis in the same month. Manufacturing surprised on the upside, while mining was weaker than expected, reinforcing the view that the economic recovery from the COVID -19 pandemic has been uneven across sectors.
- The rand strengthened against the dollar on Tuesday as analysts said markets were pricing in a central bank rate hike in November. At the close, the rand was trading at R14.97 against the dollar, 0.63% firmer. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has kept interest rates on hold at its last seven monetary policy meetings, but pointed to inflation risks at its monetary policy review last week.
- Gold prices steadied this morning as investors awaited U.S. inflation data and minutes from the latest Federal Investors were waiting for U.S. inflation data and minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting this morning for clues on when the central bank would begin withdrawing its pandemic stimulus. Oil prices fell early this morning after a mixed result in the previous session. This was due to fears that rising coal and natural gas prices in China, India and Europe will fuel inflation and slow global growth, reducing oil demand.
M&R expands in US market with R423 million deal
Engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) has acquired privately-owned, fourth-generation engineering and construction company JJ White Incorporated, in the United States for a maximum of $28,25 million (approximately R423 million). The acquisition was made through M&R’s subsidiary Clough, the brand name for M&R’s energy, resources and infrastructure platform (ERI). M&R said on Tuesday that the transaction was part of the group’s strategy to diversify and expand the service offering of its ERI business platform in North America.
Cabinet says final decision on e-tolls not yet made
Government has not made a final decision on the future of e-tolls on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). This is despite comments made by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula late last week that the e-toll system cannot be scrapped. Mbalula’s remarks have caused some confusion as some people interpreted his comments as the government’s long-awaited final decision on the future of the controversial system. Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams, however, told Moneyweb on Tuesday that a final decision on the future of e-tolling on GFIP has definitely not been made yet.