Global stocks traded mostly flat on Wednesday despite better than expected Chinese economic data.
China’s GDP QoY was recorded at 6.4% which was better than the forecasted growth of 6.3%. Industrial Production YoY expanded 8.5% easily beating estimates of 5.6%, while Retail Sales YoY grew by 8.7% from a prior recording of 8.2%. Despite this data Asian markets remained unchanged as the Hang Seng closed 0.02% weaker while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.04%. The trend was similar in Europe where stocks also struggled to find a catalyst for significant direction. In the USA, relatively muted earnings releases saw the S&P500 and Dow Jones futures drift for most of the day’s session.
The US dollar also struggled for direction as it traded in a relatively narrow range. This did well for the rand which advanced to a session high of R13.92/$ before retracing to trade 0.39% firmer at R13.96/$.
On the JSE, Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] rose 5.53% to end the day at R59.52 mainly on the back of the release of its full-year results which showed an increase in revenue and a decline in earnings per share. Massmart [JSE:MSM] was also buoyant on the back of the release of its quarterly sales update which indicated that sales had increased by 5.8% YoY over the period. The stock closed 6.39% higher at R85.80. Clicks [JSE:CLS] released an impressive set of half-year results which indicated a healthy increase in headline earnings per shares and group turnover. The stock gained 3.99% to close at R184.07. EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] had another standout day as the stock rose as high as R26.60 before retracing to close 12.98% higher at R22.80. Other significant gains on the day were recorded for Lonmin PLC [JSE:LON] which gained 7.15% to close at R13.49, as well as Sibanye Stillwater [JSE:SGL] which closed at R14.40 after gaining 6.59%.
Sappi [JSE:SAP] came under pressure as it shed 5.51% to close at R65.79, while fellow rand hedge Mondi Ltd [JSE:MND] fell 4.71% to close at R311.42. Miners struggled significantly on the day as they tracked mostly lower. BHP Group [JSE:BHP] fell 3.03% to close at R339.48, Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] retreated 4.94% to close at R452.46, and AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] lost 3.23% to close at R180.36. Anglo American PLC [JSE:AGL] dropped 1.37% to close at R393.53, while Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX] lost 1.32% to end the day at R168.50.
The JSE All-Share index closed flat after only managing to add 0.01%, while the JSE Top-40 index shed 0.05%. The Resources index fell 2.23%, however the Industrials and Financials indices gained 0.85% and 0.56% respectively.
At 17.00 CAT, Platinum was up 0.825 at $888.50/Oz, Gold had gained 0.24% to trade at $1273.78/Oz, and Palladium was up 2.42% to trade at $1387.25/Oz.
Brent crude advanced marginally following a retracement in the prior session. The commodity was trading 0.22% weaker at $71.57/barrel just after the JSE close.