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JSE closes firmer as weaker rand lifts rand hedges

Musa Makoni

The JSE eked out gains on Tuesday mainly on the back of gains recorded in resources and rand hedges which were buoyed by the weaker rand.

Eskom’s liquidity woes as well as a stronger US dollar saw the rand retreat to a session low of R14.33/$. The rand was trading 1.2% at R14.31/$ at 17.00 CAT, with further signs of potential weakness being exhibited by the US dollar which continued to advance against a basket of major currencies.

Stocks were mixed in Asia were the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.16% weaker while the Hang Seng was unchanged on the day. In Japan, the Nikkei managed to gain 0.19%. European stocks also traded mostly flat however the US was slightly bullish as investors look to earnings releases for market direction.

On the JSE, Blue Label Telecoms [JSE:BLU] was one of the day’s biggest gainers after the stock advanced 7.36% to close at R4.23. Sappi [JSE:SAP] managed to add 5.1% as it closed at R68.84, while oil and gas producer Sasol [JSE:SOL] climbed 4.21% to end the day at R487.49. Rand hedge, British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] gained 1.6% to close at R570.00, while Mondi PLC [JSE:MNP] added 1.72% to end the day at R321.13. Coal miner Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX] gained 2.85% to close at R172.64, diversified miner South32 [JSE:S32] picked up 1.01% as it closed at R34.90, while index giant Naspers [JSE:NPN] gained 1.48% to close at R3674.00.

23 April

Gold miners did struggle on the day as stocks such as Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] fell 5.52% to close at R51.87, while its sector peer AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] lost 2.27% as it closed at R179.68. EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] had another wobble as it fell 3.66% to close at R21.56. Financials also struggled on the day due to the weaker rand. FirstRand [JSE:FSR] lost 1.63% to close at R67.15, Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] closed 1.4% weaker at R199.50, and Capitec Bank Holdings [JSE:CPI] weakened by 1.75% to end the day at R1396.56. Other significant losses were recorded for Truworths [JSE:TRU] which lost 1.67% to close at R73.73, Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] which fell 2% to close at R18.15, and Multichoice Group [JSE:MCG] which closed at R124.43 after dropping 1.94%.

The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 0.54% firmer while the JSE Top-40 index managed to add 0.59%. The Financials index closed 0.86% weaker, however gains were recorded for the Resources and Industrials indices which rose 1.37% and 0.74% respectively.

At 17.00 CAT, Gold was 0.46% weaker to trade at $1269.07/Oz, Platinum had lost 0.965 to trade at $890.10/Oz, and Palladium was 0.32% firmer at $1269.07/Oz.

Brent crude reached levels last recorded in November as the USA intensified its sanctions on Iran. The commodity peaked at a session high of $74.72/barrel before it was recorded at $74.56/barrel just after the JSE close.