The JSE closed weaker on Wednesday following a mixed trading session where the local bourse swung between gains or losses.
Global markets also traded mixed as investors tried to gauge Canada’s position in NAFTA following the deal signed between Mexico and the USA on Monday. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.4% weaker however, the Nikkei and Hang Seng managed to gain 0.15% and 0.23% respectively.
The rand struggled against the US dollar as it weakened to a session low of R14.49/$. This was despite the US dollar trading mostly flat even as USA Q2 GDP numbers beat estimates. The rand recovered to trade at R14.40/$ at 17.00 CAT.
Diversified miner, BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] continued to track higher as it gained 2.18% to close at R318.79 per share. Gold miner, AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] recouped some of Tuesday’s losses to end the day up 2.38% at R115.43, and Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] posted gains of 1.68% to close at R36.22 per share. Rand hedge, British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] added 1.89% to close at R721.00, while Richemont closed 1.64% firmer at R130.93 per share.
Steinhoff International [JSE:SNH] recorded the biggest jump of the day to close 25% higher at R2.75 per share. Adcock Ingram’s [JSE:AIP] full-year results showed a good improvement in the group’s profitability with HEPS rising by 26% compared to the previous period. Resultantly the stock gained 2.59% to close at R71.30 per share.
Grindrod [JSE:GND] came under pressure in today’s session eventually closing 6.43% weaker at R8.30 per share. Retailer, Shoprite [JSE:SHP] was dragged down by the weaker rand and resultantly the stock lost 4.23% to close at R211.00, while Truworths [JSE:TRU] weakened to R88.47 after shedding 2.36%. Imperial Holdings [JSE:IPL] pulled back to close at R209.85 per share after dropping 2.37%, and Bidvest [JSE:BVT] closed 2.14% lower at R211.59 per share.
The local bourse gained some traction towards the close which saw the JSE All-Share index closing 0.21% higher, while the JSE Top-40 index managed to add 0.27%. The Financials index came under pressure because of the weaker rand to end the day 1.14% weaker. The Industrials and Resources indices gained 0.16% and 1.59% respectively.
Brent crude climbed following the release of US crude oil inventories data which showed a bigger draw than anticipated. The commodity jumped to a session high of $76.73/barrel before retracing to trade at $76.14/barrel just after the JSE close.
Gold was mildly firmer as the US dollar struggled against a basket of major currency pairs. The precious metal managed to reach a session high of $1206.76/Oz before retracing to at $1203.81/Oz at 17.00 CAT. Palladium was 1.47% to trade at $954.67/Oz, and Platinum was 0.32% firmer to trade at $792.25/Oz.
At 17.00 CAT, Bitcoin was flat to trade at $7046.30/coin and Ethereum was trading 0.54% firmer at $290.62/coin.