VENTURES AFRICA – The JSE All Share Index (ALSI) on Thursday struck a new record high during early trade, touching an all-time high of 37 811.23 points from a previous record of 37 749.90 points.
The rock-hard manufacturing data from the US and China ignited positivity that global economic growth might be recovering.
Chinese manufacturing activity is on track to expand this month for the first time in more than a year.
This is according to preliminary results of a key business survey released this morning, adding to evidence pointing to a growth pick up during the fourth quarter.
HSBC, UK’s third biggest bank with emerging market focus, said the preliminary or “flash” reading of its China manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 50.4 on a 100-point scale, above the 50-point threshold that separates improvement from deterioration.
This marked the first time in 13 months the index had topped the 50 mark. In October, the final reading of the HSBC China manufacturing PMI came in at 49.5. The final version of the HSBC is slated for December.
Economists said the preliminary survey supported the view of an improving mainland Chinese economy. Many economists may revise their forecasts higher for the official government-sponsored PMI.
“It shows that the policy easing has continued to support a growth recovery, and reinforces our view that growth will pick up strongly in the fourth quarter to 8.4 percent from 7.4 percent in the third quarter,” one economist said.
Among the PMI’s subcomponents, measures of output and new export orders both increased, reversing direction from October’s reading.
Société Générale called the details of the report “encouraging,” noting that output was at its highest level since October last year, while new exports orders hit a two-year high.
Mzwandile Jacks has been a financial journalist for more than 20 years. He has worked full time for the Sowetan, The Lowvelder, Mpumalanga News, Business Day, Primedia Publishing, Finance Week, This Day, Financial Mail and Business Report. His articles have also been published in The New Age, City Press, Fin 24 and many other niche magazines in the stable of Capemedia and Highbury Safika Media, both independent magazine publishers. He has covered Africa extensively while working for the above-mentioned publications. He studied journalism at the Peninsula Technikon in the Western Cape and Politics and English at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). He cites South Africa’s pioneering journalists like Aggrey Klaaste, Joe Thloloe, Mathatha Tsedu, Monk Nkomo and Len Maseko as his mentors. He was voted the best black financial journalist at Finance Week in 2002. Rikus Delport, the editor of Finance Week at the time, described him as “a top notch journalist of that time.”