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Equities up

19 August 2004 Angelo Coppola

(20.8.04) The largest gains were made in resource stocks jumping 3.2%.

Consumer spending power is again mirrored in good results from Woolworths.

The currency shed 1.2% against the dollar yesterday and around 2% against the euro and sterling. Capital market rates moved higher as inflation fears return with the high oil price and weaker currency.

Gold gained 0.7% as the World Gold Council reported that the Argentinean central bank purchased 42 tonnes of gold during the first half of the year. The uncertainty and general poor news from oil producing countries are keeping the oil price high; up 3% yesterday.

European markets closed flat yesterday; there were no major news. In the US not even the final listing of Google on the Nasdaq could help US markets to closed in the black.

The Far East could follow the US lower but trading flat for the time being. The outlook for local equity markets today is not as rosy as yesterday.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

Healthcare brokers have long complained about inflation-plus medical scheme contribution increases; but pandemic may have changed things. What will pandemic-induced changes in hospital utilisation do to medical scheme contribution increase patterns?

ANSWER

Below inflation increase for 2022, then back to inflation-plus
Long-term trend of below inflation increases
Inflation-linked hikes for 2022, then back to inflation-plus
This is a 2-year hiccup, inflation-plus increase trend remains in place
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