The Ai40 Index continues to fall in value this week, currently standing at a value of 112.26, having dropped by 2.85% US markets continued to fare well at Friday’s closing though, after a report showed that the nation’s manufacturing activity picked up more than expected in the month of February.
The Dow Jones industrial average was the biggest gainer of the three with a value of 14,397,07, having climbed 0,47% or +67.58 points, followed by the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which saw an increase in its value of 0.38%, earning itself 2.28 points to close at a value of 3,244,37. The S&P 500 jumped by 6.92 points to gain 0.45% for a value of 1,551,18. It is expected to reach a value of 1,600 soon.
Good news from US labour reports caused the positive close to the week as the US government stated early Friday that 236,000 jobs were added to the economy in February, and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7%; the country’s lowest since December 2008. This boosted the confidence of investors who have closely been keeping an eye on the economy.
All three major indexes are up between 7% and 10% so far this year.
Togo’s Ecobank has been the Index’s highest gainer for three weeks running, jumping this week by an impressive 6.4%. Kenya’s Equity Bank Limited and Barclays Bank Kenya both also saw gains of 6.1% and 4.4% respectively.
Kenyan stocks fared well over all, after a successful and peaceful election. Kenya’s East African Breweries jumped by 5.2% and Safaricom climbed 4.2%.
This week’s losers hail from various parts of the continent, with North Africa continuing to drag down the index with news of continued political tension in that region. Vodafone Egypt, our biggest loser this week saw a great tumble of 67.8%, this drop being caused by their trading at normal volumes again.
Nigeria’s Guiness Nigeria PLC saw a drop in their share price this week of 4.7% followed by beleaguered mining giant Anglo Platinum, which returns to this week’s losers with a fall of 5.3%. This as investor confidence continues to drop as violent strikes continue in its mines in the North West part of South Africa. Lafarge Cement tumbled this week by 8.2%. Despite this, the company forecasts growth this year after posting an increase in 2012 profits.
For more on the Ai40 Index, please visit the Africa investor website at www.africainvestor.com.