Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York
JOHANNESBURG - The increased geopolitical tensions between the US and Russia over Syria, as well as the increased Washington-Beijing trade war issues increased volatility on global financial markets.

Despite these tensions, as well as the hawkish tone of the published minutes of the last US Federal Reserve meeting, share markets mostly recovered last week.

The dollar strengthened further, especially against emerging market currencies.

Investors fled towards gold and the metal reached a year record level of $1353 (about R16235) an ounce during the middle of last week.

Given the Syria debacle, attempts by Opec to lower supply and reduce US oil stocks, the oil price rose strongly last week and traded to $72.50 a barrel at the close of the JSE on Friday.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average also gained on its opening the previous Friday. The start of the earnings season of profit declaration by most listed companies in the US, had pushed the index up by 440 points, or 1.8percent, by Friday afternoon.

South African financial markets also recovered last week. On the JSE, the all share index closed on 56563 points. This was 1.2percent higher for the week and 5.1percent better than the previous Wednesday (April4) when the trade-war between the US and China reached high pitch fever.

Since then, the all share and the Top40 indices recorded seven positive closings out of the eight trading days.

The property market also recovered sharply as the listed property index gained 31 points from April4 to close 5.7percent higher on Friday.

On the bond market the all bond index gained almost 1percent over the last month.

The rand moved sideways and stable against the dollar last week. Against the greenback, the rand lost 4cents over the week and traded at $12.08 at 5pm on Friday.

Against the pound, the rand depreciated by 27c, or 1.6percent, and traded at R17.23, while against the euro, the local unit also weakened by 11c at R14.89.

This week, investors will await the announcement of South Africa’s inflation data and retail sales numbers for March.

- BUSINESS REPORT