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Africa investor Ai40 Weekly Commentary – 12 January 2015

By Staff Reporter | January 12, 2015

In the Ai40 Commentary’s absence over the festive season, the Ai40 Index endured a massive decline. At 8 December, the Index was sitting on a value of 116.32. In the space of a month, it tumbled 6.52 points, or 5.6%, to close Friday on 109.80 points. In fact, of the 40 companies on the Index, only three recorded a gain, while two remained unchanged.

It was a turbulent week for US markets. All three major indices were down at Friday’s close; the third time in the five days of trading. As oil prices continue to slide, investors are becoming increasingly concerned about global growth. In addition, while the jobs market is perking up, wage growth is stagnating.

At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by 170.5 points, or 0.95%. It ended the session on a value of 17,737.37. The Nasdaq was also down, by 32.122 points (0. 68%) and closed at 4,704.07. The S&P 500 Index dropped 17.33points, or 0.84%, to end the week on a value of 2,044.81.

Gainers

AngloGold Ashanti alone started 2015 on a positive note. Late December saw gold prices soar on the back of a weaker dollar, due to continuing tensions between Russia and the West, according to Reuters. The South African-listed mining giant recorded a 12.1% gain, far beyond that of Morocco’s second-placed Attijariwafa Bank, which gained just 2.0%. Another Moroccan bank, Banque Centrale Populaire, took third place with a small gain of 0.4%.

Vodafone Egypt and Mauritius Commercial Bank are notable in this session only in that they were two of the five companies that did not record losses over the month. They each escaped the period unchanged in value.

Losers

On the losing side, Nigeria continued to fare poorly as the oil price kept tumbling. Guaranty Trust Bank recorded the month’s worst performance, dropping 14.1%. Nigerian Breweries didn’t fare much better, losing 13.7%, and Guinness Nigeria, another brewery lost 12.3%. With oil now below $50 a barrel, the Nigerian Stock Exchange ended 2014 as one of the world’s worst performing exchanges.

Likewise, South Africa oil and gas company Sasol had a poor time of it, losing 12.3%. Anglo American, another South African-listed miner, rounds out the losers’ list. Despite reporting upbeat third-quarter figures, the company lost 12.5% over the month.

For more on the Ai40 Index, please visit the Africa investor website at www.africainvestor.com.

Topics: Ai Press Office, All Sectors |