The JSE closed softer on Thursday on the back of weakness in financials and retailers after the rand fell against the greenback.
The rand weakened considerably against the US dollar overnight as it breached the R14/$ level. In today’s session it fell to a session low of R14.20/$ as the US dollar extended its gains earlier. The US dollar did retreat after the release of US retail sales data which came in worse than anticipated, but this did not result in significant strengthening for the rand and other emerging market currencies. The rand was trading 0.84% weaker at R14.18/$ at 17.00 CAT.
There was more disappointment locally as Statistics S released South Africa’s Mining Production numbers for the month of December. Mining Production MoM contracted by 1.2% which was worse than the forecast of a 0.6% expansion, while Mining Production YoY fell 4.8% which was worse than the forecasted -0.6%. The data was worse for Gold Production as it fell 31% YoY compared to a prior decline of 13%.
On the JSE, EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] stumbled further as it fell 12.32% to close at R17.01. Dis-Chem [JSE:DCP] retreated by 6.17% to close at R24.96, while African Rainbow Capital Investments [JSE:AIL] lost 5.75% to end the day at R4.10. The weaker rand saw ABSA Group [JSE:ABG] shed 3.52% to close at R178.01, while Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] pulled back 1.24% to close at R188.20. Retailer, Truworths [JSE:TRU] closed at R72.38 after dropping 3.69%, while The FoschinI Group [JSE:TFG] closed 1.67% weaker at R160.59. Discovery Ltd [JSE:DSY] eased to R145.00 after shedding 3.78%, and Clicks [JSE:CLS] dropped 4.27% to close at R177.00.
Of the day’s gainers, Barloworld [JSE:BAW] gained some momentum after the release of a positive operational update which saw the stock close 4.02% higher at R126.15. Platinum miners also advanced on the day which saw Impala Platinum advance 4.37% to close at R47.80, Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] gained 3.23% to R660.20, and Sibanye Stillwater [JSE:SGL] posted gains of 1.6% to close at R14.65. South32 [JSE:S32] was buoyed by the release of its half-year results which indicated a healthy increase in earnings per share. The stock closed 2.41% firmer at R37.76.
The JSE All-Share index closed 0.03% softer while the JSE Top-40 index shed 0.08%. The Industrials and Resources indices managed gains of 0.39% and 0.62% respectively, however the Financials index retreated by 1.8%.
Crude oil prices eased in today’s session following consecutive sessions of significant gains. Brent crude was down 0.19% to trade at $63.49/barrel just after the JSE close.
At 17.00 CAT, Palladium was up 0.22% to trade at $1400.73/Oz, Platinum was down 0.54% at $782.43/Oz, and Gold was 0.36% firmer at $1311.00/Oz.
Ethereum was 0.25% firmer to trade at $123.93/coin, and Bitcoin was 0.23% weaker at $3663.10/coin.