Flash Briefing: Tributes pour in for Jabu Mabuza, AngloGold bottom of the lot, gold dives below $1,800

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  • Former Eskom board chair and businessman Jabu Mabuza passed away on Wednesday night due to Covid-19 complications. He was 63. Business Unity South Africa president Sipho Pityana said that Mabuza was a role model for all South Africans, who became a powerhouse in the country’s economy and who also occupied several leadership positions in both the corporate and public sectors.
  • AngloGold Ashanti has had a bad year, with the company’s lack of a permanent chief executive officer and a suspension of its Ghana mine operations weighing on the stock. This is according to Bloomberg, which reports that shares of the world’s third-largest gold producer have dropped 35% in the past year, making it the worst-performing stock in the 113-company Bloomberg World Mining Index. It also trails peers on South Africa’s FTSE/JSE Precious Metals and Mining Index, which has gained 17% in the same period. “AngloGold is a good turnaround stock at this point, being one of the cheapest large cap gold stocks globally,” said Bloomberg Intelligence mining analyst Grant Sporre. Appointing a CEO and resuming mining operations in Ghana,“would all be positive catalysts and may be enough for the stock to play catch up to peers, even if gold prices were to flatline.”
  • Gold declined below $1,800 an ounce as the Federal Reserve sped up its expected pace of policy tightening amid optimism about the labour market and heightened concerns over inflation. The metal slipped to the lowest in six weeks on Thursday as the dollar continued to strengthen, the day after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank would begin a discussion about scaling back bond purchases. Bloomberg reports that this is the first major hawkish turn from the central bank whose deluge of stimulus has been critical to bullion’s strong performance since the start of the pandemic. The central bank also released forecasts that show they anticipate two interest-rate increases by the end of 2023 – sooner than many thought – which helped boost the dollar and US bond yields, hurting gold.
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