Average deposit rates unchanged

AVERAGE deposit rates for savings and deposits of one and three-month tenors remained unchanged at 3,03%, 6,57%, and 6,93%, respectively, in the week ending April 1.

Financial Matters Reserve bank

Weighted commercial bank lending rates for individuals declined from 11,43% to 11,41%, while those for corporate clients increased to 7,29%, from 7,16% recorded in the previous week.

Clearing and settlement activity

The value of transactions processed through the national payment system (NPS) rose from US$959,04 million in the previous week, to US$1 080,07 million during the period under review.

Transactions processed through the RTGS system amounted to US$857,74 million, up from US$778,61 million registered in the previous week. RTGS payments accounted for 79,42% of the total value of transactions processed through the NPS, followed by mobile, 8,98%; automated teller machines (ATMs), 6,97%; point of sale (POS), 4,43%; and cheques, 0,2%.

Mobile-based transactions accounted for 87,72% of the total volume of transactions; POS, 7,06%; ATMs, 4,56%; RTGS, 0,56% and cheques,0,1%.

Tobacco sales

As at April 1 (Day 3 of the 2016 tobacco selling season), a cumulative total of 1 433 334kg of tobacco had been sold, representing an 8,64% increase on the total cumulative quantity sold for the same period in 2015. The golden leaf fetched a lower average price of US$1,65 per kg, compared to US$2,42 per kg during the same period in 2015. In value terms, total sales amounted to US$2,36 million — 26% lower than the US$3,19 million realised during the corresponding period in 2015.

International commodity price developments

During the week under review, the international commodity prices of gold, platinum, copper, nickel, and Brent crude oil retreated.

The weekly average price of gold declined by 0,5%, from a weekly average of US$1 235,09 per ounce in the previous week, to close the week at US$1 229,15/oz. The decline was largely attributed to the strengthening of the US dollar.
Platinum prices fell by 0,6%, to close the week at US$935,63/oz, down from US$971,25/oz recorded in the previous week, on the back of a strengthening US dollar.

Copper prices registered a 2% decline, from a weekly average of US$5 001,50 per tonne to close the week at an average of US$4 902,38/t. This followed concerns over the weakening demand outlook in China, the world’s largest consumer of the base metal.

Nickel prices retreated by 2,8%, from weekly average of US$8 632,50/t to close the week at an average of US$8 388,75/t due to a slump in demand.

Brent crude oil prices retreated by 4,1%, from a weekly average of US$40,93 per barrel to US$39,24/barrel during the week under review. Global oversupply concerns, largely driven by increased exports from Iran and Iraq, in large part, explained the price decline.

Equity markets

During the week under review, the mainstream index recorded a decline of 0,38 points, to close the week under review at 98,18 points. The resources index, however, remained unchanged at 19,53 points.

The industrial index was largely weighed down by losses in Hippo Valley (25,55%), Dawn (19,5%), Edgars (7,41%), National Foods (3,38%) and PPC (0,36%).

However, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange market turnover declined by 20,96%, from US$3,05 million recorded in the previous week to US$2,41 million. The volume of shares traded, however, increased by 97,41% to 24 537 860 shares.

The ZSE market capitalisation declined by US$10,2 million, from US$2 660,40 million, to close the week at US$2 650,16 million. This was on account of negative trading on the bourse.