Local consumer inflation rose slightly to 4 percent last month from 3.9 percent in February, the first rise in six months. Economists predict this as the start of an upward trend as the country foresees rand weakness, electricity tariff hikes and higher food prices.
The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.4 percent to close at a record for the first time in 15 years, topping its dot-com-era high as U.S. stocks shrugged off mixed earnings and disappointing manufacturing data from across the globe.
This week, manufacturing data from all around the world disappointed. Japan, China, France, Germany and the U.S. all had PMI reports out that missed expectations. Japan, China and France had readings below 50, signifying contraction. The rand is trading notably softer at R12.10/$ as the economy fears a slowdown in China and other trading partners.
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