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China hikes rates

28 October 2004 Angelo Coppola

This was down after China announced an interest rate increase – the first such increase in 9 years.

Resources, gold and platinum were under pressure shedding 4.51%, 3.46% and 5.66% respectively. There was more good news for SA consumers - producer price inflation was lower than expected.

The rand strengthened, after the China and the PPI news, by a percent against the majors. The South African bond yields closed higher, the R153 by 7 points and the R157 by 9 points.

Commodities closed substantially lower on the speculation that higher Chinese interest rates may slow demand. European markets closed higher the FTSE gained 0.27%, the DAX increased by 0.78% and the CAC advanced 1.18%.

In the US markets closed flat. Internationally markets are looking better with the oil price down form from the past week’s new highs. In the East the Nikkei and the Hang Seng is currently trading lower by 0.91% and 0.31% respectively. Locally the market is expected to have a quiet day unless the currency intervenes.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

As National Treasury mulls a two-bucket retirement system, mandatory contributions and preservation, regulation 28 is being amended to allow up to 40% of retirement fund assets to be invested in SA-based infrastructure… Which of the following retirement fund ‘tweaks’ would you consider most beneficial to your clients?

ANSWER

Give fund members emergency access to retirement savings
Let fund members invest 40% in infrastructure
Let fund members invest 40% offshore
Mandatory preservation when resigning from a fund
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