JSE flat as listed property stocks remain under pressure

Cape Town - The JSE closed flat on Friday after a mixed session where the index failed to get a clear direction.

Listed property stocks took another knock on Friday as sector wide pessimism persisted. Greenbay Properties [JSE:GRP] and Fortress B [JSE:FFB] were among the biggest losers as they lost 6.67% and 3.37% respectively. Other REITS namely Growthpoint Properties [JSE:GRT], Balwin Properties [JSE:BWN] and NEPI Rockcastle [JSE:NRP] shed 0.57%, 4.81% and 2.15% respectively.

The SA Listed Property index ended the day 1.40% lower.

Retailers and financials which have rallied strongly this week eased in Friday’s session. Rand Merchant Investment Holdings [JSE:RMH] and First Rand [JSE:FSR] which were among the biggest gainers on Thursday, lost 2.65% and 2.47% respectively. Retailers Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK], Massmart [JSE:MSM] and Spar Group [JSE:SPP] shed 0.86%, 2.84% and 1.18% respectively.

Miners were mixed with stocks such as AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] and Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] losing 0.87% and 1.97% respectively, whilst BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] and Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] gained 1.23% and 1.28% respectively. Pan African Resources [JSE:PAN] and South32 [JSE:S32] recorded decent gains of 1.74% and 1.73% respectively.

Steinhoff [JSE:SNH] was one of the top gainers of the day as it gained 10.31% to close at R7.61 per share. Brait [JSE:BAT] and EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] broke a streak of losses to end the day up 3.70% and 3.07% respectively. Rand hedge stocks Mondi PLC [JSE:MNP] and Mondi Ltd [JSE:MND] closed the day 1.64% and 1.86% firmer, whilst Naspers [JSE:NPN] firmed by 1.58%.

The JSE All-Share index eventually closed down 0.02% despite trading in the green briefly, whilst the blue chip Top-40 index managed to eke out gains of 0.09%. The Financials Index came under pressure to close the day down 1.70%, however the Industrials index and the Resources index firmed by 0.40% and 0.71% respectively.

The rand strengthened significantly overnight and it printed a high of R12.06 to the US dollar in early morning trading. The local currency weakened thereafter due to a stronger US dollar to trade at R12.20/$ at 17:00.

Brent Crude was mostly flatdespite the big draw in Crude Oil Inventories on Thursday. Brent Crude was little changed to trade at $68.98 per barrel.

Gold rebounded in today’s session after a minor retracement on Thursday. The precious metal peaked at $1 338.17/Oz before retracing to trade at $1 335.01/Oz just after the JSE close.

Palladium and Platinum rebounded on Friday after sliding marginally on overnight. Palladium gained more than $10 to trade at $1 106.98/Oz just after the JSE close, whilst platinum was trading at $1014.10/Oz.

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