EB Market Update – April 2018

Global: Trumpy tweets!

US economic data continued to display solid growth with GDP for Q1 confirmed at 2.3%. This was slower than growth in Q4 but was ahead of expectations. Inflation also ticked up with the target range of 2% now in sight. In spite of this encouraging data, equity market performance remained pedestrian because overshadowing the positive news was the proposal by President Trump that the US impose penalising trade sanctions against China.

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Domestic: A change to the old guard.

A plethora of encouraging economic data resulted in the FTSE/JSE All-Share delivering a solid performance for April – returning 5.4% for the month which was to a large extent driven by a resurgence in resources counters. The resources index received an additional boost from arise in gold stocks, on the back of a renewed escalation of geopolitical risks as well as an improvement in platinum group metal prices. The Financials Index took some strain, particularly towards the end of the month as long bond yields continued to rise which negatively affected local financial institutions.

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