US equities traded mixed after a surprise drop in jobless claims sends bond yields higher, thus, fueling investors to continue repricing their bets on a March rate cut from the Fed. Nasdaq, S&P500 and Dow Jones Industrial were trading at 15028.01, 4761.98 and 37238.80 respectively.
Jobless claims data fell to 187k last week, down by 16k from their prior week and the lowest level in 16 months. The market had expected an uptick to 208k. The strength of the labor market forces market to review their optimism around a Fed optimism, with stocks largely losing steam from their year-end rally in 2023
European markets gained ground, boosted by upbeat earnings as investors looked to the release of the ECB’s policy minutes expected later in the day. FTSE100, DAX, CAC40 and Stoxx 600 traded at 7462.64, 16561.19, 7404.11 and 470.56 respectively on Thursday towards close.
SA stocks recovered on Thursday as government-owned Transnet assured the market that it expects to resume rail services on a key mining export line on Thursday (earlier than expected), following a Jan 14 collision between two trains. The market also responded to global recovery of riskier assets, following a sell-off by unravelling expectations of US Fed interest rate cuts this year. Resources, financials and all share indexes closed at 30774.12, 43153.39 and 72344.40 respectively.
On economics, SA retail sales 0.9% y/y in November after falling by a revised 2.3% in October according to data revealed by StatSA. On a month-to-month basis, retail sales increased 0.4%. Meanwhile foreign investors sold a net of 1.74 billion rand worth of SA stocks.