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SOUTH AFRICA DAYBOOK: Inflation May Be Unchanged, Shale Gas

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s annual inflation rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent in February from the month before, according to the median estimate of 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Estimates for the data, which will be released by Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa at 10 a.m. South African time, ranged from 3.5 percent to 3.9 percent. Prices rose 0.7 percent in the month, according to the median estimate of 20 economists.

     WHAT TO WATCH:
* The South African Reserve Bank publishes its leading economic
indicator, which signals trends six to 12 months ahead, at 9
a.m. local time.
* Officials from the Petroleum Agency of South Africa brief
lawmakers on shale gas exploration.
* South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe answers
questions in Parliament.
* The Reserve Bank releases invitations at about 11 a.m. for its
weekly government bond auction that will be held on March 29.
* South African Grain Information Services releases weekly
exports and imports of corn and wheat at 12 p.m. in
Johannesburg.

     MARKETS:
* The rand weakened 0.2 percent against the dollar to 6.9108 as
of 7:54 a.m. Johannesburg time.
* The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index gained 0.6 percent to
close at 30,868.31 yesterday.
* The yield on the benchmark government R157 bond decreased 2
basis points to 7.79 percent late yesterday.
* Gold for immediate delivery gained was little changed at
$1,427.66 an ounce as of 7:56 a.m. Johannesburg time. Platinum
fell 0.2 percent to $1,735.68 an ounce.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 percent to
12,018.63.
* The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2 percent to 271.8.

     EQUITY MOVERS:
* Jasco Electronics Holdings Ltd. (JSC SJ): The
telecommunications company publishes earnings for the first half
through December.
* Wesizwe Platinum Ltd. (WEZ SJ): The explorer of the metal said
it expects to report earnings per share of between 39 cents and
42 cents for the year ended December, compared with a loss per
share of 6.65 cents during the year earlier.
* William Tell Holdings Ltd. (WTL): The manufacturer of
chipboard and wood-based panels said it received a 6 million
rand grant ($868,306) from South Africa’s Department of Trade
and Industry for a new production plant near Johannesburg.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net

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