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Local stocks softer as index heavyweights struggle

Musa Makoni

Local stocks retreated on Friday led mainly by declines by some of the blue-chips on the industrials index.

Stocks declined on the Hang Seng with the biggest impact for the JSE being Tencent Holdings which has registered consecutive declines throughout this trading week. The Nikkei and Shanghai Composite Index managed to close 0.22% and 0.67% higher respectively. Stocks in Europe recorded modest losses except for the CAC 40 which inched higher on the day. US stocks were moderately firmer as they slowly inched towards their all-time highs.

On the currency market, the rand strengthened against the greenback as it peaked at a session high of R14.58/$. At 17.00 CAT, the rand was trading 0.66% firmer at R14.59/$.

Index heavyweight Naspers [JSE:NPN] came under significant pressure as it closed 2.79% lower at R2092.50, while its recent unbundling Prosus [JSE:PRX] fell 2.06% to close at R1007.90. Anheuser-Busch InBev [JSE:ANH] fell 9.91% to close at R1210.00 primarily on the back of the release of its 3rd quarter results. Retailers struggled despite the rand trading firmer as declines were recorded for Truworths [JSE:TRU] which lost 2.92% to close at R56.11, Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK] which dropped 2.28% to close at R66.74, and Woolworths [JSE:WHL] which closed at R57.36 after losing 1.14%. Losses were also recorded for Nampak [JSE:NPK] which lost 4.39% to close at R10.24, Imperial Logistics [JSE:IPL] which fell 4.65% to close at R52.85, and Hammerson PLC [JSE:HMN] which closed 4% lower at R57.16.

Miners traded mostly firmer on the day which saw Pan African Resources [JSE:PAN] surge 5% to close at R2.31. while DRD Gold [JSE:DRD] climbed 4.25% to close at R7.20. Other gold miners also advanced on the day as gains were recorded for Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] which gained 2.54% to close at R50.00, Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] which rose 1.33% to close at R86.62, and Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGL] which advanced 1.31% to R26.29. Vivo Energy [JSE:VVO] was bolstered by the release of its 3rd quarter trading update which saw the stock rise 2.45% to close at R22.96. Gains were also recorded for African Rainbow Capital [JSE:AIL] which gained 6.32% to close at R5.05, and Sappi [JSE:SAP] which closed at R39.84 after adding 3.8%.

The blue-chip JSE Top-40 index closed 0.54% lower while the broader JSE All-Share index lost 0.67%. The Resources index was the only major index to advance as it closed 0.47% firmer. The Industrials and Financials indices lost 1.53% and 0.39% respectively.

Brent crude was little changed from its overnight trading range. It was trading 0.1% softer at $61.61/barrel just after the JSE close.

At 17.00 CAT, Platinum was up 1.53% at $937.25/Oz, Gold was 0.5% firmer at $1511.22/Oz, and Palladium was unchanged at $1773.10/Oz.


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