The JSE closed lower for a second consecutive session as blue-chips remained subdued mainly on the back of negative sentiment across most global indices.
Traders and investors continued to exercise caution as they try to assess the potential impacts of the higher tariffs that Donald Trump has threatened on China. Market participants expect the China to retaliate if the US goes ahead with the tariff increase and more importantly it could take longer than expected until a trade deal is reached. Locally, markets were also tentative ahead of the South Africa general elections which are taking place on Wednesday. Despite the recovery in China and Hong Kong on Tuesday the trend remained mostly weaker across Europe and the USA.
The rand recouped marginally from its overnight weakness as it peaked at a session high of R14.39/$. At 17.00 CAT, the rand was trading 0.07% firmer at R14.44/$.
On the JSE, retailers came under significant pressure on the day with Massmart Holdings [JSE:MSM] closing as one of the day’s biggest losers as it lost 3.99% to close at R87.50. Truworths [JSE:TRU] fell 3.68% to close at R76.10, while Woolworths [JSE:WHL] closed 2.56% lower at R48.42. Despite a relatively stable set of 1st quarter results AB InBev [JSE:ANH] weakened by 3.83% to close at R1226.55. EOH Holdings fell 3.6% to end the day at R24.10, while rand hedge Richemont [JSE:CFR] lost 2.24% to close at R101.34.
Of the day’s gainers, Astral Foods [JSE:ARL] had a decent day out as it climbed 7.87% to close at R196.97. Listed property stocks also inched higher on the day with gains being recorded for Rebosis Property Fund [JSE:REB] which added 6.15% to close at R1.38, Delta Property Fund [JSE:DLT] which gained 5% to close at R2.52, and Accelerate Property Fund [JSE:APF] which gained 4.48% to R3.50. Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] found some momentum as it gained 1.89% to close at R171.21, while Sibanye Stillwater [JSE:SGL] added 1.62% to close at R13.15.
The JSE Top-40 index eventually closed 1.2% weaker while the broader JSE All-Share index lost 1.14%. Another tough session ensued for all the major indices as they closed weaker. The Industrials index lost 1.46%, Resources fell 0.75% while the Financials index retreated 1.04%.
At 17.00 CAT, Gold was 0.24% firmer at $1283.45/Oz, Palladium had lost 1.4% to trade at $1325.10/Oz, and Platinum was 0.38% weaker at $872.65/Oz.
Brent crude remained subdued due to the ongoing trade tensions. It was trading 1.7% weaker at $70.03/barrel just after the JSE close.