South African Markets - Factors to watch on May 20

Mon May 20, 2013 2:39am EDT

The following company announcements, scheduled economic indicators, debt and currency market moves and political events may affect South African markets on Monday.

DIARY

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For southern and South Africa diary, click on

COMPANIES

- Industrial group Barloworld Ltd boosted first-half profit by a third, as a solid result in its Russian mining equipment business offset slack demand at home.

- Mass market lender African Bank Investments posted a 26 percent drop in first-half earnings, hit by rising bad debts from its heavily leveraged customers.

- Mobile phone operator Vodacom reported a 23 percent rise in full-year profit, underpinned by a strong performance by its African subsidiaries and growth in data usage.

- Food group Pioneer Foods said first-half headline earnings per share rose 38 percent to 182 cent.

- South Africa's third-largest private hospital group by value, Netcare, said first-half headline earnings per share for continuing operations rose 24.9 percent to 65.8 cents.

- Howden Africa, Redefine and the JSE Ltd

are trading ex-dividend or without the right to their latest dividend.

WAGE DEMANDS IN MINING SECTOR

South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers said it would seek pay rises of up to 60 percent from gold and coal producers, raising the prospect of fresh strikes as firms battle higher costs and falling prices in an already heated labour climate.

SOUTH AFRICAN MARKETS

South African stocks ended slightly lower on Friday, snapping a four-day winning streak that took the market to new peaks as technical factors weighed and investors turned their attention to next week's central bank meeting in Pretoria.

South Africa's rand touched fresh four-year lows against the dollar on Friday and could weaken further towards technical support at 9.5 as labour strife in the mine sector weighs on sentiment.

GLOBAL MARKETS

The yen edged higher on Monday after Japan's economics minister said further weakness in the yen could harm households, while Asian shares rose in response to U.S. equities rallying on upbeat economic data.

WALL STREET

U.S. stocks continued their climb into uncharted territory on Friday, racking up the fourth week of gains in a row as encouraging economic data prompted investors to pick up shares of growth companies.

GOLD

Gold fell for a seventh straight session on Friday, its longest losing streak in four years, as the dollar rose to the highest since 2008 after some Federal Reserve officials said the central bank should end its stimulus for the U.S. economy.

EMERGING MARKETS

For the top emerging markets news, double click on

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Some of the main stories out in the South African press:

BUSINESS DAY

- BEE lobby eyes bigger share of state spend

- Strike fears as NUM demands 60 pct increases

BUSINESS REPORT

- Secret Gupta deal

- NUM to seek wage hikes of up to 60 pct in coal, gold (Compiled by Agnieszka Flak)

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