Equity markets continued to rally on the back of US-Sino trade talks, which could see an easing of trade hostilities between the two largest economies in the world. The S&P500 advanced to make new all-time highs as new hope for significant progress in trade talks. This news has also increased forecasts of a potential Federal Reserve rate cute before the end of the year. The Brexit conundrum continues as Boris Johnson pushes for an election in the UK before the end of the year as the Prime Minister struggles to get enough votes to pass his bill through the house of commons.
Asian markets were firmer on the day as the Hang Seng and Shanghai indices gained 0.84% and 0.85% respectively, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% whilst the ASX 200 advanced 0.02% respectively. Positive news out of US-Sino talks gave the markets good cheer as US markets continued to advance to make new all-time highs.
South Africa’s energy and chemical giant Sasol [JSE:SOL], released their results this morning after a delay which had been precipitated by an investigation into cost over runs at their Lake Charles chemical project (LCCP) in Louisiana. The results of the audit highlighted significant deficiencies in the LCCP management team, which resulted in the axing of the joint CEOs Stephen Cornell and Bongani Nqwaba. The incumbents would be replaced by Fleetwood Grobler with effect from 1 November 2019. Sasol [JSE:SOL] will fail to pay a final dividend for this financial year, the first time the organisation has failed to pay a final dividend. The share price rallied on the announcement of the new CEO as the market sees this as a new start for the organisation, the share closed the day up 11.78% to trade at 29500c.
Significant gains were recorded by gains were recorded by Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd [JSE:RBP], Discovery Ltd [JSE:DSY], MultiChoice Group [JSE:MCG] and Pepkor Holdings Ltd [JSE:pph] which gained 4.52%, 3.54%, 3.47% and 3.43% respectively.
The largest losses on the day were sustained by Nampak Ltd [JSE:NPK], AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG], and Invicta Holdings Ltd [JSE:IVT], which shed 7.71, 6.86% and 6.18% respectively. The gold stocks were under pressure on the day as the underlying bullion price retreated below the psychological $1500/ ounce level.
The JSE All-Share index closed 1.32% firmer whilst the JSE Top-40 index advanced 1.35%. The Financials index also gained territory on the day adding 1.5% on the day. The Industrial and Resource indices were firmer as the industrials gained 0.98% whilst the resources gained 1.51% respectively.
The local unit was firmer on Monday ahead of the Mid-term Budget release and Moody’s rating agencies rating announcement later in the week. The Rand was trading at R14.55 to the dollar, R16.12 to the Euro and R18.72 to the British Pound.
Brent crude was weaker on the day to trade at $61.39 per barrel. The commodity opened the session weaker on the back of weak Chinese industrial data, a potential sign that the Chinese economy might be slowing down. Gold was trading at $1491 at the time of writing easing off session highs of $1506.
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