The Rand weakened for a sixth straight session on Friday (-1.3%) and the stock market remained soggy, falling another ½% – with all major indices lower. Commodity catch up: Gold lower ahead of ECN and US Fed meeting this week (especially after last week’s US consumer inflation number). Oil is at 5 month highs and Iron Ore has slumped after Chinese data printed lower than expected…

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Quite a few companies reporting this week – AVI today, Aspen and Impala Platinum on Thursday, Richemont on Wednesday. It’s the launch of the Apple iPhone 8 tomorrow, plus several new products including a new version of the Apple Watch and Apple TV. The iPhone is about two-thirds of Apple’s revenue with the share up 37% this year, making them the world’s most valuable company. The JSE All Share is up 12% for the year. Naspers is up 42% this year and makes up close to 20% of the index.

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Global markets started the day stronger on Friday because of positive Chinese manufacturing data, and somehow even the US opened strongly despite weaker than expected non-farm payrolls. The US reported creating 156,000 jobs for the month of August versus an expecting 180,000 – wage growth remained constant at 2.5%y/y. The Dollar initially weakened, leaving the stronger Rand to keep our market in check. We discuss Discovery, Stellar Capital and Mr Price reports. Jannie Mouton has transferred R1bn into a charitable trust after seeing an interview with a smiling Warren Buffet talk about giving away 99% of his wealth.

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We had 5 straight days of gains last week, with the All Share index ending just a tenth of a percent higher on Friday, and 2.6% higher for the week. Retailers: we dissect Woolworths and Massmart results; not a pretty picture. Let’s have a conversation about the value of your vote as a shareholder, shareholder activism and Naspers. Koos Bekker (Chairman of Naspers) said at the AGM on Friday on the notion of corporate governance: “It sounds wonderful. If you want to be the best soccer team in the world it is important to wash your hands after using the bathroom. But will you win? Not unless you train the hardest, recruit the best and are merciless in your ambition. Once you have won, then you can look at things. If you lose, the best governance in the world can’t help you.” No surprise… Yellen’s last speech at Jackson Hole was – as suspected – a damp squib, while (super) Mario Draghi confirmed that the ECB will continue the process of eliminating quantitative easing.

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Friday ended a third of a percent lower on the markets, but thanks to Naspers’s 5% rally we managed a 0.3% positive close for the week. Education stocks ADvTECH and Curro reported last week. We had a flurry of miners report: Harmony and Goldfields both reported flat gold production numbers and negative cash flow, while Exxaro was “saved” by their coal assets; and Sibanye Gold released a trading statement which implies a very different company to the one they were last year. And while everyone was enjoying after work Friday drinks, Bidvest released a trading statement saying that Brian Joffe had resigned from the company with immediate effect.

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The global markets were mixed and despite the weaker Rand, the JSE was under a lot of pressure, falling over 1% on Friday. The US managed a positive close despite muted inflation figures. Alviva, formerly known as Pinnacle, was up over 2% after releasing a decent trading update. Naspers was down almost 3% after a report saying that China’s online watchdog is investigating Tencent. And Disney – who own the top media library – have announced they are pulling all their content from Netflix.

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Market update: we’ve had a nice little rally, up ½% on Friday bringing the week’s gain to 2%. But the Rand has suffered quite a blow this week, last trading at 13.47 to the US Dollar on Friday, partly driven by a stronger greenback after the US non-farm payroll numbers surprised to the upside. It looks like Wiese is not giving up just yet on combining his Steinhoff and Shoprite assets, they announced on Friday that Steinhoff is looking to take a controlling stake in Shoprite. Both paper companies, Mondi and Sappi, reported last week. Companies like Amazon, Takealot and Superbalist are reviving the industry with all the boxed home deliveries.

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We started the day negative in the markets, and then managed a little bounce in the afternoon to end the day flat. Barclays Africa reported disappointing half year results and tobacco companies plummeted on Friday after the FDA announcement that they want to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes. Naspers fell almost half a percent on Friday as tech stocks retreated after Amazon results. Jeff Bezos was only briefly the richest man on Thursday, until the results disappointed. US GDP growth came in at 2.6% q/q – much stronger than the previous 1.2%, with oil bouncing again… and our local energy department have announced a petrol hike.

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Market update: It’s been an exceptional week; the bulls were out with a vengeance – the market was up 5 consecutive days in a row. Friday saw the Rand rally briefly below 13 against the US dollar as news broke of the mining charter being suspended. Despite the stronger Rand, our market managed to close ½% in the green with Financials having an incredible run. Even retailers were stronger on the day (even WHL after their disappointing Trading Statement the day before). It’s not even worth talking about Eskom wanting to pay Molefe and Koko bonuses, even though they only have money to pay salaries until November unless they get another state loan. Brian Joffe’s Long4Life made it official that they are buying Sorbet (beauty therapy chain). Richemont’s head watchmaker George Kern has resigned. Of the 25 S&P500; companies that have reported, 19 have already beat analysts’ expectations; while US macro data on Friday disappointed – we do a quick overview.

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