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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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