JSE starts the week on the backfoot

The JSE got off to a slow start for the week as it closed softer on Monday.

The local bourse opened mildly firmer, but struggled to gain any momentum thereafter. Asian counters did not inspire much confidence after the Shanghai Composite Index erased earlier gains to close the day weaker. This was despite the Hang Seng closing firmer while the Nikkei closed flat.

The rand pulled back on Monday as the US dollar recorded modest gains against a basket of major currencies. The rand weakened to a session low of R13.46 against the greenback before rebounding to trade at R13.39/$ at 17.00.

On the JSE, ABSA Group [JSE:ABG] closed the day weaker following the release of its interim results for the six months ending June, which indicated a decrease in earnings for the period. The stock lost 2.98% to close at R166.43 per share. Fellow banker, FirstRand [JSE:FSR] lost 2.57% to end the day at R67.38, while Nedbank [JSE:NED] closed 1.44% weaker at R264.40 per share.

On the broader index, Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] retraced by 4.6% to end the day at R18.86, while Famous Brands [JSE:FBR] was down 4.34% to close at R104.00 per share. Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s half-year earnings results did not inspire much confidence in the markets as the stock shed 3.81% to close at R25.00.
A limited number of blue-chip stocks recorded modest gains with the Spar Group [JSE:SPP] adding 0.91% to close at R194.01, while luxury retailer, Richemont [JSE:CFR] inched up 0.83% to end the day at R116.94 per share. Index heavyweight Naspers [JSE:NPN] only managed to add 0.43% to close at R3 239.37 per share.

ArcelorMittal [JSE:ACL] jumped 17.18% to close at R4.98 while Pan-African Resources [JSE:PAN] gained 7.81% to close at R1.38 per share. EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] managed to add 3.18% which saw the stock close at R42.79 per share. Rhodes Food Group [JSE:RFG] firmed to 19.00 per share after the stock picked up 2.15%.

The JSE All-share index eventually closed the day 0.45% weaker, while the JSE Top-40 index lost 0.4%. The Financials index traded under significant pressure, eventually losing 1.4%.

Gold lost ground as the US dollar strengthened, which saw the precious metal slide to a session low of $1207.43/$. It rebounded marginally to trade at $1 210.85/Oz at 17.00.

Platinum was down 0.79% to trade at $824.43/Oz, while Palladium had lost 0.51% to trade at $908.17/Oz.
Brent crude spiked higher on the back of potential of supply concerns due to the labour strikes resuming in the North Sea. The commodity reached a session high of $74.47/barrel before retracing to trade at $74.04/barrel just after the JSE close.

At 17.00, Bitcoin was down 1.46% to trade at $6 946.00/coin, while Ethereum was 0.13% weaker at $406.49/coin.

* The JSE market update is from GT247.com, an online broker and authorised financial services provider.

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