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12 December 2004 jse

According to Gerbrand Smit, an analyst at the Efficient Group, this was driven mostly by the retail (1.07%), construction (1.13%) and IT (+0.67%) stock, the all share (-0.09%) index closed marginally softer on Friday.

The fast moving Christmas loving retailers, Edcon (2.20%) and Massmart (2.70%) showed some depth by being of the few performers.

Currency traders anticipate a higher US interest rate later this week reflecting in a stronger dollar against the rand (3 cents) and euro (1 cent). With the dollar regaining some value, gold continued last week’s trend by slipping another 0.72%.

During OPEC’s meeting on Friday, it was decided to reduce production by 1 million barrels/ day; strangely enough the oil price declined by 4.55%.

US equity markets closed slightly in the red on Friday; the S&P 500 (-0.10) and Dow Jones (0.09%) indices the major losers. The European equity markets closed on average 0.42% in the black.

Currently Asian markets are mixed with the Nikkei 225 (0.36%) slowly recovering from last week’s profit taking. We expect investors to be watchful for Alan Greenspan’s decision on interest rates this week.

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Each year ordinary consumers and their financial and wealth advisers flock to dozens of asset manager ‘outlook’ presentations to find out about economic and investment trends, and the next ‘hot’ company. What do you want asset managers to share during these events?

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