Semiconductors continue to beat expectations

Yesterday saw semiconductor firm Broadcom announce better-than-expected results. During the 4th quarter, Broadcom saw net revenues increase to $4.84bn, surpassing analysts’ estimates of $4.83bn. This strong performance was partly due to its wired infrastructure unit, which makes chips for set-top boxes and cable modems. Overall, the group saw adjusted earnings come in at $4.59 per share, slightly higher than forecasts of $4.52 per share. Looking forward, Broadcom expects first quarter revenues to increase to $5.3bn, much better than expectations of $4.83bn. The group also increased its quarterly dividend to $1.75 per share, 72% higher than the $1.02 dividend declared previously.

In currencies, the rand erased some of its recent gains on Wednesday, in-line with a weakening trend among most other emerging-market currencies. In addition, investors’ focus shifted to the release of US non-farm payrolls data on Friday. After a previous close of R13.441/$ on Tuesday, the rand weakened early on in the day moving to R13.58/$ at 12:50. From there, the local currency erased some of its declines as it strengthened to R13.543/$ at 17:00. After remaining mostly unchanged overnight, the rand is just above R13.53/$ this morning.

In Asia, markets are mixed, with regional indices trying to recover from the recent sell-off in global technology shares.bThe Nikkei led the region’s gains after adding 1.18% to 22,444.08 index points, on track to end higher for the first time this week. Furthermore, the Australian ASX also performed well, up 0.54% to 6,062.50 index points. Lastly, mainland markets led the downside, as the Shanghai Composite lost 0.62% by the break, followed by a 0.02% decline in the Hang Seng as it looked set to extend its recent declines to a 3rd consecutive session.

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