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Turning to the local equity market, and while valuations have improved slightly (from an implied risk premium perspective) following recent weakness, the market once again faces headwinds from a constrained economic environment.
The bond market notwithstanding, being relatively well anchored by a down-trending inflation rate is also likely to be hampered by the threat of further credit rating downgrades.
Retail sales growth was also unchanged at 10.7% year-on-year for May.
In Japan, the flash PMI hit a seven-month low of 52.0 in June from 53.1 in May.
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Bond yields continued to drift lower over the period against a backdrop of economic indicators that exhibited a slightly softer bias.
Moody's downgraded South Africa's sovereign risk rating by one notch (although it is still investment grade) and retained a negative outlook.This is particularly true in the wealth management space where current global and local volatility and unpredictability are shaping general planning strategies for wealthier individuals.Currently, South African wealth planners are seeing an uptick in demand for taking funds offshore, as well as a greater focus on diversification.Locally, politics continues to dominate the outlook.
Business and consumer confidence is low and is likely to retard economic growth.
Business confidence (as measured by the RMB/BER business confidence index) also plummeted 11 points to a reading of 29.