NEW YEAR HOPES.
Warn the Stock Exchange closed on Friday and Saturday of last week, the few days prior to the turn of the year were not expected to be productive of much business in the security markets, but the tone has been cheerful with gilt-edged stocks showing strength in the hope of improvement in conditions in i he new year. Investors appear gradually to be overcoming tbeirillars that gilt-edged securities might fall to much lower levels if he pound sterling remained unstabilized, for sterling leas, in feet, shown that it possesses a high degree of inherent staUlifig. and as the price level has been showing a declining tendency lately fears of reduction of purchasing power in the annual income from Government stocks are disappearing. As a matter of fact, the pound will now purchase as much as it would a year ago, and considerably more than it would do some four or five years ago. In general markets business has been very quiet, but Home Industrial securities have held their prices and foreign stocks have improved in some directions, Germans gaining ground on the confirmation provided by the Basle Report of the necessity for an extension of the Morato- rium on Reparations payments. South American securities have been rather harder, but Rumanians were weak on the financial position in that country. A little more interest has been shown in Rubber shares on anticipations of an Anglo- Builds agreement on the subject of restriction, and South African Mining shares have enjoyed support on the news from South Africa indicating that the gold standard question may result in a political crisis. The general feeling in the Union apparently favours the linking of the South African pound with sterling in view of the importance of the British market, and in that event the gold mines would secure the full benefit of the high price of gold in terms of sterling.