Expensive Mr Price just got a bit cheaper on JSE

From Reuters JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African discount retailer Mr Price failed to impress investors with a 15 percent rise in third-quarter sales on Thursday, reflecting the lofty expectations for one of Johannesburg‘s most expensive stocks. Mr Price, which sells clothing and household goods, said sales growth for the three months to end-December rose 14.8 percent, helped by strong … Read more

South African rand drops to fresh five-year low

From Reuters JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa‘s rand stumbled to a fresh five-year low against the dollar on Thursday, falling alongside other emerging market currencies as investors bet the U.S. central bank will press on with cutting back stimulus. The rand touched a low of 10.95 per dollar, a level last reached in October 2008, and down nearly 0.7 … Read more

Google builds a “nest” for future smart homes

From SAPA/AP: When our Internet-connected gadgets and home appliances all learn to talk to each other, Google wants to be at the center of the conversation. This imagined future is still a few years away, but Google is already preparing with its $3.2 billion acquisition of high-tech thermostat and smoke-detector maker Nest Labs. The surprise … Read more

Massmart

South African Stocks Tick Higher As Massmart Surges

From Reuters: South African stocks rose 1 percent on Wednesday, nearing another record high, as shares of Massmart Holdings surged after its annual sales figures came in just above expectations, soothing worries about consumer spending. Naspers and other companies with overseas earnings also rose, lifted by the crumbling rand currency, which hit a five-year low. Massmart, … Read more

Banking Regulation Meets Law Of Unintended Consequences

From Reuters: * Impact of ‘Stressed VaR’ measure now being felt in markets * European supervisor admits ‘unintended consequences’ * Liquidity hit and trading costs rise as banks curtail inventories * Trading driven to unregulated entities like dark pools * Assets that crashed in 2007/8 forever ‘tainted’ in new regime Arcane measures designed to make banks … Read more

S&P 500 Closes At Record On Bank Earnings, Data

From Reuters: * Bank of America shares jump after earnings * Empire State manufacturing index, PPI increase * Apple rallies after comment on China iPhone sales * Dow up 0.7 pct, S&P 500 up 0.5 pct, Nasdaq up 0.8 pct U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 climbing to an all-time closing high after strong … Read more

Fertilizer multinational Yara admits to bribing

By Terje Solsvik and Ole Petter Skonnord OSLO, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Norwegian fertiliser firm Yara International has been fined 295 million crowns ($48.5 million) after a cross-border bribery investigation by the country’s economic crime unit. Yara, one of the world’s biggest fertiliser firms, paid or agreed to pay $12 million in bribes between 2004 and 2009, the … Read more

Global growth prospects boost dollar, but gold falls

From Reuters * U.S. data, World Bank forecasts lift stocks, dollar * Gold drops for second straight day * SPDR fund sees outflows of 3.56 tonnes (Updates prices, adds comment) By Clara Denina LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Gold fell on Wednesday as strong U.S. data and optimistic global growth prospects prompted a rally in the dollar … Read more