By David | April 11, 2017
It was a gloomy week for the Ai40 Investor’s Index as it moved into the third straight week of losses. South African equities took up the lion’s share of the Losers list following an eventful week characterised by significant political risk. The Index dropped by 1.82 points, a fall of 1.97% from last week’s value of 92.37, to close Friday at a value of 90.55.
Global markets were widely down at last Friday’s close with geopolitical tensions in the form of U.S missile strikes on Syria worrying investors. Lower-than-expected nonfarm payrolls numbers didn’t help markets either, reports highlighted that “the U.S. economy only generated 98,000 jobs last month” according to Nasdaq. Safe-haven assets such as gold were on the up and so was oil, as markets expect that “the airstrikes would re-ignite Middle East turmoil, the world’s major oil-producing region” according to ABC News. A barrel of Brent gained 35 cents to settle at $55.24.
At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 6.85 points, to close at a value of 20,656.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed lower by 1.14 points to end the session at 5,877.81. The S&P 500 lost 1.95 points, to close Friday on a value of 2,355.54. In Europe, Germany’s DAX 30 fell 1.3% and Britain’s FTSE 100 gained a marginal 0.31%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.3%.
Abu Qir Fertilizers was the biggest gainer on the Index last week as stocks for the Egyptian chemicals company gained 39.8%. Miners, AngloGold Ashanti and Anglo Platinum were also in the mix with gains of 12.2% and 10.1% respectively. Nairobi-listed Equity Bank gained 5.8% while stock for Tunisian holding company, Poulina Group Holding increased by 5.7%.
On the other end of the spectrum, Tullow Oil was the biggest loser on the Index last week. Shares for the company dropped by 11.6%. Marred by political risk and increased volatility following the firing of the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, South African bank stocks suffered huge losses last week. Standard Bank was down 10.2%. Still in SA equities, MTN Group fell 5.8% as the company “paid a 30 billion Naira second instalment of a 330 billion Naira fine to the Federal Government” in Nigeria last week according to Pulse. Another banking stock, Ecobank Transnational found its place on the Losers list with a drop of 5.7%.