The local bourse tracked other global markets lower on Tuesday as markets priced a high probability of a phase one deal not being signed between China and the US.
This change in sentiment has been triggered by Donald Trump’s remarks with regards to levying steel tariffs on Argentina and Brazil, as well as his position on increasing tariffs on China should a deal not be signed. This dented hopes for a recovery particularly for US markets which retested fresh record highs last week.
In addition, the local bourse was also dragged lower by the release of worse than expected South African GDP numbers for 3rd quarter. South Africa’s GDP QoQ was recorded at -0.6%, falling sharply from a prior recording of 3.2% and missing the forecasted 0.3%. GDP YoY was also lower as it was recorded at 0.1%, missing the estimate of 0.5%.
The rand which had managed to peak at a session high of R14.52/$ in earlier trading, fell following the release of this GDP data to a session low of R14.69/$. At 17.00 CAT, the rand was trading 0.77% softer at R14.65/$.
On the JSE, Steinhoff International Holdings [JSE:SNH] came under considerable pressure as it tumbled 8.085 to close at R0.91. Steel producer, ArcelorMittal [JSE:ACL] fell 7.1% to close at R1.57, while South32 [JSE:S32] lost 4.3% to close at R25.14. Diversified mining giant, BHP Group [JSE:BHP] also struggled as it fell 2.42% to close at R318.79, while Anglo American PLC [JSE:AGL] lost a more modest 0.7% to close at R383.50. Financials were dragged by the weaker rand which saw Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] drop 1.41% to close at R161.65, while FirstRand [JSE:FSR] closed 0.815 weaker at R61.60. Index heavyweight, Naspers [JSE:NPN] dropped 1.27% to close at R2021.00, luxury goods retailer Richemont [JSE:CFR] closed at R109.30 after losing 1.33%.
RCL Foods [JSE:RCL] closed amongst the day’s biggest gainers after it rallied 10.72% to close at R10.74. Gold miners recorded the majority of the day’s gains which saw stocks such as DRD Gold [JSE:DRD] surge 10.57% to close at R6.80, AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] climbed 7.73% to close at R295.60, while Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] closed at R47.43 after gaining 5.42%. Retailers advanced despite the softer rand which saw Mr Price [JSE:MRP] gain 5.93% to close at R183.30, while The Foschini Group [JSE:TFG] gained a modest 0.69% to close at R152.55.
Losses were also recorded for Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] which advanced 7.74% to close at R121.76, Vukile Property Fund [JSE:VKE] which closed at R20.94 after gaining 3.71%.
The JSE Top-40 index eventually closed 0.64% weaker while the broader JSE All-Share index lost 0.58%. The Resources index barely closed firmer as it only gained 0.05%. The Industrials and Financials indices lost 0.86% and 0.97% respectively.
At 17.00 CAT, Palladium was 0.34% softer at $1846.00/Oz, Platinum was up 1.1% at $908.70/Oz, and Gold was also trading 1.1% higher at $1478.36/Oz.
Brent crude fell on the back of Donald Trump’s tariff increase threats. The commodity was trading 0.71% weaker at $60.49/barrel just after the JSE close.