Equities Trading Mixed

THE equities market traded mixed this week with losers outweighing gainers and thus the industrial index lost 2,92% to close at 146,25 points while the mining index lost 5,51% to close 193,72 points.

A sectoral analysis of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange shows that the properties sector was the biggest mover, gaining 21,88% during the period under review, on the back of gains in ZPI, up 66% and Dawn, up 36%.

This was followed by the tourism sector which went up 19,73% after AfriSun went up by 31,5%. Occupancy rates at hotels in Zimbabwe, have trebled since last year, pointing to signs of recovery.

Speaking at the sidelines of a conference in South Africa recently, Zimbabwe Council of Tourism president, Emmanuel Fundira said: “Much of this is business travellers coming in to look at investments and things like that. The improvement supports the claims that business and investment activity has mushroomed since the worthless Zimbabwe dollar was scrapped nine months ago”.

Also at the same conference, AfriSun chief executive Shingi Munyeza backed Fundira’s view, saying some of his hotels in the country were 70% full. African Sun is expected to publish their full-year results any time now.

In third place was the mining sector, which gained 13,57%. Falgold gained 43% and Bindura gained 15%. In his 2010 budget statement, the Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, said the mining sector is set to grow by 40% in 2010 having grown by a mere 2% this year. This comes at a time when the international prices of commodities are firming.

Four sectors recorded losses in the week, agro-industrial, construction, financial and manufacturing.

Meanwhile gold prices rose above US$1 130 an ounce on Friday as the dollar steadied after snapping a four day losing streak on last Thursday, when investors returned to buy bullion following its fall from record highs of US$1 230 hit last week.

Base gold was down 5,45% to US$1 138,00 as the move by some central banks to start absorbing extra liquidity pumped into the banking system in the wake of the global financial crisis last year weighed on the metal’s bullish sentiment.

Investors are also cashing in ahead of the festive season as gold prices remain at elevated levels.

Other metals follow suit, with platinum and silver down 6% and 7% to close the week at US$1 427,00 and US$17,44 respectively. Oil closed the week down 4% at US72,30, recovering slightly on Friday after falling for a seventh straight session on Thursday on concerns over global oversupply, dipping
below US$70 for the first time in two months. — Staff Writer.

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