The JSE closed weaker on Wednesday as blue chips weighed down on the index.
On the brighter side, South African inflation for December slowed down significantly due the decrease recorded in fuel prices in that month. According to Statistics SA, CPI YoY for December slowed down to 4.5% from a prior recording of 5.2%, while CPI MoM was recorded at -0.2% compared to the previous reading of 0.2%.
On the JSE, index heavyweight Naspers [JSE:NPN] was the biggest contributor to the bourse’s downside as it lost 3.18% to close at R3050.00. Reinet Investments [JSE:RNI] also struggled as it shed 2.44% to close at R208.66, while tobacco giant, British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] retreated to close at R448.74 after dropping 1.96%. Sappi [JSE:SAP] pulled back to close 1.43% weaker at R76.69, while Rand Merchant Investment Holdings [JSE:RMI] closed 0.54% weaker at R37.17. Bankers also traded softer despite the rand trading mostly flat. Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] pulled back to close at R184.64 after dropping 0.33%, while Nedbank [JSE:NED] lost 0.75% to close at R274.23.
Aspen [JSE:APN] recorded a third consecutive session of gains to end the day 6.16% higher at R156.43. Imperial Logistics [JSE:IPL] rallied 5.46% to close at R72.43, while Motus Holdings [JSE:MTH] firmed to R92.70 after adding 2.43%. Platinum miner, Northam Platinum [JSE:NHM] firmed on the back of mildly stronger platinum metal prices which saw the stock add 4.61% to close at R46.50, while Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] gained 2.32% to close at R592.47. Massmart [JSE:MSM] recorded a minor rebound following Tuesday slump as the stock gained 4.11% to close at R94.38. Pioneer Foods [JSE:PNR] held on to its gains to end the day 1.76% firmer at R83.21.
The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 0.42% weaker while the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index lost 0.56%. The Industrials index was the only major index to close in the red as it lost 0.97%. The Financials and Resources indices managed gains of 0.32% and 0.17% respectively.
At 17.00 CAT, Gold was down 0.42% at $1279.83/Oz, Platinum was 0.05% weaker at $791.45/Oz, and Palladium was 0.29% softer at $1345.29/Oz.
Brent crude traded mixed on the day, however it was trading 0.34% firmer at $61.71/barrel just after the JSE close.
At 17.00 CAT, Bitcoin was flat to trade at $3631.80/coin, while Ethereum was down 0.43% at $119.55/coin.