JSE maintains momentum, helped by rand hedge stocks

Johannesburg - Equities on the local bourse started the week on a positive note on Monday, buoyed by rand hedge stocks which gained on the back of the weaker local currency.

The JSE maintained its momentum from last week, as All-Share index futures hit fresh all-time highs to peak at 52 298 points.

Major gainers on the day included healthcare stocks Life Healthcare [JSE:LHC] and Netcare [JSE:NTC] which climbed 3.38% and 3.29% respectively.

Brait [JSE:BAT] and BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] also were also up, posting gains of 3.30% and 1.78%.

The biggest winner on Monday was recent listing Stadio [JSE:SDO], which eventually closed up 19.19% at R7.39 per share, after the stock managed to reach an intra-day high of R7.89 per share.

The rand remained under pressure relative to other major currency pairs. The local currency slid to an intra-day low of R13.86 against the greenback, which supported stocks such as Richemont [JSE:CFR] and Sappi [JSE:SAP] which closed 0.35% and 0.10% firmer.

A combination of firmer gold prices and a weaker rand, meanwhile, also buoyed miners such as AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] and Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] which gained 1.88% and 3.25% respectively.

Despite the relatively firmer gold price Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] traded under pressure to shed 0.76%. Other major losers included Bid Corp [JSE:BID], which shed 1.09%, Anglo American PLC [JSE:AGL] which lost 1.49%, and Lonmin [JSE:LON] which closed down 3.63%.

The JSE All-Share index closed up 0.52%, whilst the blue chip Top-40 index gained 0.61%. The Industrials index firmed by 0.52% while the Resources index gained 0.94%.

The Financials index gained 0.27% despite a weaker rand.

Precious metals 

The US dollar index opened softer on Monday, as Asian markets digested Friday’s weaker than expected US non-farm payroll jobs data.

As a result gold managed to gain some momentum as it broke above $1 280 per ounce to peak at an intra-day high of $1 285.52/Oz. The commodity was trading at $1 281.41/Oz just after the JSE closed.

Palladium was also firmer on Monday, as it reached an intra-day high of $9 32.18 per ounce. It was recorded at $930.78/Oz just after the local market closed.

Platinum, meanwhile, was showing signs of strength earlier in the day, but subsequently lost ground to trade in the red for the better part of the day.

The metal slid to an intra-day low of $911.42/Oz before it reaching $914.74/Oz at the close of the JSE.

Brent Crude was mostly flat in Monday's session, but JSE-listed oil and gas producer Sasol [JSE:SOL] traded firmer to close the day up 2.92%.

Oil was trading at $55.55 per barrel just after the JSE closed.

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