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    Wall Street hits lowest level in 12 years; global markets rattled

    Local markets

    Companies in the oil and gas and basic materials indices had lost 4.60% and 3.12% respectively by midday, sending the JSE All Share plunging 2.31%. The local market shadows losses in Asia which came after Wall Street hit a 12-year low yesterday.

    US market lows sent investors scurrying after the dollar, which strengthened against the rand to trade at R10.08 to the dollar at noon. Analysts believe that the rand will continue to be range bound, even with the upheaval in world markets.

    Gold was trading at $986.50 an ounce, correcting itself after reaching the $1000 mark last week. Traders suggest that the precious metal could return to these levels as uncertainty surrounding the financial sector escalates, driving investors to safe-haven buying.

    International markets

    The Dow Jones plummeted 3.41% to hit its lowest level in twelve years, as investors lost confidence in the US government to rescue the failing financial sector. The Nasdaq fell 3.71% as investors were concerned that there was insufficient consumer demand for technology at this time.

    Partly in response to Wall Street’s disasterous results yesterday, the Japanese Nikkei average slid 1.46% this morning, despite promises from the finance minister that the government is investigating ways to assist the equity market.

    The Hang Seng closed 2.86% lower as investors were spooked by developments on US markets. Wednesday’s budget speech may offer some hope of rescue, but analysts believe that the expected stimulus measures are unlikely to receive a firmly positive response, given that Hong Kong has a very open market.

    The FTSE 100 had fallen 0.74% by midday, as investors continued to worry about the straining financial sector highlighted by substantial losses in the US and Asia.

    Share price news

    Computer hardware company Mustek Limited gained 10.64% by midday to trade at R2.60 a share. Paracon Holdings Limited, a computer services provider, enjoyed a 6.56% gain this morning to trade at R1.30 a share.

    Kap International Holdings in the diversified industrials sector lost 19.20% to trade at R1.01 a share at 12:00, after news came that Kap would be discontinuing its Fresh Meat division as it has not been generating sufficient returns. Shares in Huge Group Limited fell to R1.26 after a volatile morning’s trade, a drop of 18.71%.

    Permalink2009-02-24, 12:45:10, by Natalie Email , 1 comment
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    Comment from: peter [Visitor] Email · http://talkwithpeter.blogspot.com/
    PermalinkPermalink 2009-03-06 @ 02:33

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