By David | March 13, 2017
As at Friday’s close last week, the Ai40 Investor’s Index recorded the third straight week of losses. In similar fashion to the previous week, mining stocks put a damper on the Index’s performance. Kenyan banking equities, however, posted impressive gains. The Index fell by a 1.11 points; a drop of 1.19% from last week’s value of 92.93. The Index closed Friday at a value of 91.82.
In US markets, the major stock indexes broke multi-week upward movements but still closed higher on Friday thanks to an upbeat jobs report. According to Reuters, nonfarm payrolls were up by 235,000 for the month of February. The key economic health indicator provided the Federal Reserve with a thumbs up to raise interest rates this week. Over in Europe, Investopedia reported that “the growing regional economy has prompted concerns over divisions in the ECB when it comes to crafting a single monetary policy for all 19 member nations”. In Asia, South Korean markets closed up on Friday following the impeachment of President Geun-hye over corruption charges. Oil markets endured a tough week, with a 9% decline and a barrel of WTI crude settling at $48.49 a barrel.
At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.21%, or 44.79 points, to close at a value of 20,902.98. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.39%, or 22.92 points, to end the session at 5,861.73. The S&P 500 was up 0.33%, or 7.73 points, to close Friday on a value of 2,372.60. The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.72%, Germany’s DAX 30 was down 0.53% and Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.3%.
Topping the Gainers List last week was Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) which recorded a hefty 16% gain. Last week KCB reported flat growth in full-year net profit. According to The Star, “net profit rose to Sh19.72 billion from Sh19.62”. Stocks for Egyptian chemicals company, Abu Qir Fertilizers enjoyed a 10.5% increase and Vodafone Egypt rose by 6.2%. This follows a report that the firm – which serves nearly 40 million customers in that country – recently launched “the first commercial virtual network function in the Middle East region” according to Converge Network Digest.
Shares of Nairobi-listed Equity Bank and Guinness Nigeria were up by 5.1% and 3.9% respectively.
Last week, equities for the “Three Anglos” were the notable feature on the Biggest Losers list; signifying a tough week for JSE-listed mining stocks. Anglo-American came in at the bottom of the heap with a 9.8% drop. Shares for Anglo Platinum also experienced some sell-off last week and were down by 8.0% while equities for AngloGold Ashanti were also down, but by 6.8%. Gold mining stocks have been facing pressure in the form of a stronger dollar and the expected interest rate hike in the US.
Cairo-listed Orascom Construction and Mobinil were down 8.2% & 5.7% respectively.
For more on the Ai40 Index, please, visit the Africa investor website at www.africainvestor.com