Despite falling into recession, Moody’s decided to downgrade SA by only one notch, leaving us at investment grade. But that does not mean we can relax, there is nothing stopping them from downgrading us again in a couple of months. Our local market managed a third of a percent gain thanks to a late afternoon bounce. PPC was in demand after they reported on Thursday.

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Fitch kept our rating unchanged, which sent the Rand to 12.80 vs the US Dollar and weighed on our market. For the week the local market fell 2.2% despite a flat to slightly positive close. PPC put out a trading update which led us to talk about other companies that are also expanding into Africa. After market close, S&P also confirmed our rating citing the usual concerns of weaker growth, political risk and contingent liabilities. The US added 138,000 new jobs for the month of May versus the expected 186,000.

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The local market closed flat to negative, which was pretty much the picture across the globe. The Foschini Group are venturing into Australia, announcing that they bought Retail Apparel Group for AUD302.5m. Steinhoff announced they’re buying a majority stake in Sherwood Bedding. TigerBrands reported results and Massmart put out a trading update - an indicator of how the economy is going (or not going). Edcon and Net1UPS are both getting new CEOs. On Thursday a share (RFG) was added to our #Invest portfolios and since then it’s up 7%.

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Markets holding up well despite global geopolitical concerns (especially in Emerging Markets). SNH up 9.5% in two days post the announcement of a spin-off of the African assets. Tongaat, Nedbank, Dis-Chem and Investec all reported. We discuss the fall of Stuttafords.

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Our market ended lower on Friday, but higher for the week (Naspers closed over R2700 per share). Richemont reported results. Life Healthcare and Telkom put out a trading update. Europe ended the week stronger as Germany released GDP growth numbers. In the US earnings reporting season is now 91% complete. They reported Inflation and retail sales numbers.

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Commodities are still volatile with oil now trading at levels before the big OPEC agreement to cut production last year. The Rand is slightly weaker and market slightly stronger. Net1 UEPS (the holding company for Cash Paymaster Services, the company embroiled in the SASSA grants saga) reported on Friday. US non-farm payrolls came in much better than expected, the US created 211k jobs in the month of April. Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger held the annual Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting this weekend - some interesting things came out of that. And it looks like Macron and his En Marche! party are set to win the French elections - watch that Euro…

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The global asset prices are still under pressure, with oil now trading closer to $50/bbl – is the trump trade faltering? Pioneer food group put out a trading statement on Friday and the share fell 4½% - is this a sign of things to come for the SA consumer? Recently listed Pembury Lifestyle reported last week. Do we want to be invested in the new Africa big-50 ex-SA ETF? S&P revised the outlook for African Bank from negative to Stable and left them at B+ (which is higher than our sovereign rating). How will the outcome of the French elections impact markets?

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Global markets are still nervous with all the attacks (Syria, Sweden and now Egypt). Our local market spent most of the day in negative territory, but was relatively busy considering the marches. Datatec closed the day 7% higher after announcing that they are selling Westcon-Comstar. Capital & Counties was also higher after announcing that they are selling exhibition centres. Fitch downgraded South Africa to sub-investment grade, and US non-farm payrolls are much lower than expected.

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As Friday’s market traded on the cabinet reshuffle, it looks like there was a lot of repositioning of portfolios both selling and opportunistic buying as $2.9bn was traded. The market was tough, so much so that the JSE reported technical difficulties as shares went into volatility auction. Amongst the chaos, Pembury listed on Friday, and we got official news that Brian Joffe is listing a new company called Long4Life. SA posted R5.22 billion ($391.42 million) trade surplus in February. US Consumer spending for February was released and indications was that it barely moved.

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The global markets remain cautious. We discuss Advtech's results, Capitec buying an international online lender, Anthea has found an interesting Nasdaq-listed tech company Impinj that looks attractive, and things are looking a bit nervy for Nike.

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