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Bonds up

18 July 2004 Angelo Coppola

Local markets closed more than 1% lower on the back of the currency gaining 2.47% against the dollar.

Nico Kelder, economist at the Efficient Group reportd that this was partly due to better than expected US inflation data that supports a less sanguine interest rate outlook.

The dollar fell to a 4 month low against the euro. South African bonds ended stronger on Friday as the currency strengthened.

Commodities made some ground with platinum, oil and gold all ending in the black on the back of the weaker dollar. European markets closed flat.

US markets responded negatively to the downgrade of Intel by Merrill Lynch and earning warnings from Nokia.

The semiconductor sector shed around 9% for the week, not boding well for technology stocks in general. The Hang Seng is currently trading up but the Nikkei is closed for Marine day.

The strengthening of the rand is expected to continue on the short term which will have a negative effect on local markets.

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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