The Ai40 Index falls again this week, dropping 0.66% in value to 114.80.US markets continued to fare well at Friday’s closing 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 up this week by 35.17 points, gaining a slight 0.25%. The S&P 500 Index increased by 0.23%, earning 3.52 points to reach a value of 1,518.20, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was the highest gainer for a second week in a row, notching up 9.55 points, or 0.30% to reach 3,169.74.
Investors however continue to look closely at the US economy. The Democrats and Republicans continue their standoff over how to replace the scheduled cuts on federal spending, which could deal a sizeable blow to the US economy.
This week’s gainers are a mixed bag geographically with Togo’s Ecobank being this week’s highest gainer for the second week running. It saw a jump of 27.5%. Kenyan stocks came to the fore once more as three of our winners from that country’s banking sector. Equity Bank saw a gain this week of 6.8%, followed by Kenya Commercial Bank, which increased by 6.0%. Barclays Bank Kenya gained by 3.6%. From South Africa, SABMiller, the world’s second largest brewery also a gainer this week by 3.9%
This week’s losers also spread out over the continent, hailing from Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Mauritius. Continuing North Africa’s unfortunate run on the Index, Morocco’s losers were Banque Du Commerce and Real Estate company CGI, which fell by 3.4% and 13.6% respectively. Egypt’s Telecom Egypt posted losses this week of 5.2%.Dangote Cement from Nigeria’s Dangote Group, which was a gainer last week, tumbled this week by 7.6%.
Mauritius’ State Bank of Mauritius, which fared so well last week, saw an eye-watering fall of 99.0%. However, this was due to the company’s share split in the middle of February, whereby 100 new shares were issued for every one share held before. The price now sits at $0.03.