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Muzzled session for the JSE

Musa Makoni

The JSE was adrift on Friday as it traded mostly flat in line with other global markets which struggled for direction.

Markets in Asia did have some direction primarily on the back of weaker than expected Chinese GDP numbers which fell to a 30-year low of 6.0% QoY. This resulted in the Shanghai Composite Index closing 1.42% weaker while the Hang Seng lost 0.48%. The Japanese Nikkei eked out gains of 0.18%. Stocks in Europe and the USA were mixed as investors tried to gauge events with Brexit, US corporate earnings and weaker Chinese economic data.

Emerging market currencies edged higher on the day primarily on the back of a weaker greenback. The rand advanced to a session high of R14.74/$ before it retreated to trade 0.13% firmer at R14.80/$.

On the JSE, Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] came under significant pressure following the reduction of its stock rating to reduce by HSBC Bank. The stock eventually closed 5.08% lower at R8.96. Healthcare provider Netcare [JSE:NTC] lost 3.89% as it closed at R17.77, while its sector peer Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] retreated 2.23% to close at R71.97. Despite the rand holding steady rand sensitives retreated on the day. Mr Price [JSE:MRP] lost 1.25% to close at R158.74, while Truworths [JSE:TRU] dropped 2.49% to close at R51.79. On the financials sector, FirstRand [JSE:FSR] fell 1.89% to close at R65.99, while Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] dropped 1.44% to close at R179.20. Losses were also recorded for Imperial Logistics [JSE:IPL] which lost 1.95% to close at R52.81, while Telkom [JSE:TKG] closed at R68.22 after losing 1.67%.

Miners recorded most of the day’s gains on the local bourse. Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] gained 3.41% to close at R46.96, AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] climbed 2.02% to R306.70, and Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] rose 1.42% to end the day at R82.69. Rand hedge Sappi [JSE:SAP] advanced 2.08% to close at R38.35, while Quilter [JSE:QLT] added 1.44% to close at R27.47. Diversified miner Anglo American PLC [JSE:AGL] managed to post gains of 0.52% as it closed at R362.40, while Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] gained 2.85% to close at R359.52. Significant gains were also recorded for Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGL] which gained 1.22% to close at R25.81, and Massmart [JSE:MSM] which added 2.12% to close at R44.90.

The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 0.28% weaker while the JSE Top-40 index shed 0.41%. The Resources index was the only major index to record gains as it closed 0.16% firmer. The Industrials and Financials indices lost 0.47% and 0.79% respectively.

At 17.00 CAT, Gold was 0.03% weaker at $1491.43/Oz, Palladium was down 0.5% to trade at $1750.80/Oz, and Platinum was 0.01% softer to trade at $887.40.

Brent crude briefly traded above $60/barrel before it was recorded trading 0.42% softer at $59.70/barrel just after the JSE close. 


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