The local bourse relinquished earlier gains before barely closing firmer on Thursday, on the back of heavier losses in European stocks.
European counters shrugged off earlier gains in Asia, as the losses deepened within an hour of markets opening in Europe. Chinese stocks maintained their upward momentum as they advanced 2.23%, while the Hang Seng surged 2.08%. The Nikkei gained 1.09%. Losses cross the major European benchmarks breached 2% on average while US counters also opened sharply in the red.
In terms of local economic data, the SACCI Business Confidence index for the month of February was recorded at 92.7, which is slightly better than the expected level of 92. The rand had another volatile session as it also relinquished earlier gains to fall to a session low of R15.55/$. The local unit was trading 1.8% weaker at R15.53/$ at 17.00 CAT.
On the JSE, British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] surged 3.8% to end the day at R645.17, while Telkom [JSE:TKG] climbed 5.26% to close at R30.00. Index giant Naspers [JSE:NPN] gained 2.03% to close at R2499.65, while paper producer Mondi PLC [JSE:MNP] lost 1.47% to close at R326.09. SA Corporate Real Estate [JSE:SAC] managed to add 4.48% to close at R2.10, while Capital & Regional [JSE:CRP] added 3.31% to close at R39.00. Gold miners had a buoyant session as AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] surged 3.51% to close at R329.00, while Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] closed at R107.56 after gaining 2.63%. Gains were also recorded for Bidvest [JSE:BVT] which added 1.43% to close at R189.52, as well as Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] which closed at R73.26 after adding 2.5%.
Sasol [JSE:SOL] came under significant pressure as it plummeted as low as R169.05 before it settled 8.86% lower at R169.74. African Rainbow Minerals [JSE:ARI] tumbled 7.65% to close at R135.05, while Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] lost 3.5% to close at R292.68. Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] slipped further in today’s session as it was weighed down by its announcement from Wednesday that it had failed to secure an equity partner. The stock lost 26.62% to close at R1.02. Accelerate Property Fund [JSE:APF] tumbled 23.26% as it closed at R0.99. Cement maker PPC Ltd [JSE:PPC] lost 3.31% to end the day at R1.46, while commodity trading giant Glencore [JSE:GLN] closed at R37.20 after losing 2.87%.
The JSE Top-40 index inched up 0.12% while the broader JSE All-Share index only closed 0.02% firmer. The Financials and Resources indices lost 0.99% and 0.8% respectively, however the Industrials index managed to surge 1.07%.
Brent crude retreated in today’s session as it was recorded 0.72% lower at $50.76/barrel just after the JSE close.
At 17.00 CAT, Gold was up 1.3% to trade at $1658.26/Oz, Palladium was trading at 2476.37/Oz, while Platinum was recorded at $877.77/Oz.
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