The JSE slipped on Friday led by losses in the resources index where miners lost significant ground due to relatively weaker metal commodity prices.
The slump started off in Asia where stocks extended their declines on the back of concerns surrounding the signing of the Hong Kong bill by the US.
The Hang Seng came under significant pressure as it fell 2.03% while the Nikkei and Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.49% and 0.87% respectively. The outlook was much was slightly better however gains were modest. US markets resumed trading today after having been closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday.
The rand advanced against the greenback in today’s session as it peaked at a session high of R14.62/$. At 17:00, the rand was trading 0.34% firmer at R14.64/$.
On the JSE, some of the miners which led the losses included BHP Group [JSE:BHP] which fell 2.54% to close at R324.56, Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX] which lost 3.51% to close at R133.33, and Glencore [JSE:GLN] which weakened by 1.17% to close at R46.52.
UK focused listed property stock, Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] came under pressure as it fell 5.15% to close at R6.63, as well as its sector peer Hammerson [JSE:HMN] lost 2.65% to close at R56.50.
Index heavyweight, Naspers [JSE:NPN] lost 1.07% to end the day at R2094.88, while Richemont [JSE:CFR] closed at R111.45 after losing 1.28%. Losses were also recorded for Sasol [JSE:SOL] which dropped 3.14% to close at R264.00, Investec [JSE:INL] which lost 1.8% to close at R84.21, and British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] pulled back 0.99% to close at R577.50.
EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] closed amongst the day's biggest gainers after it advanced 4.16% to close at R13.02.
Platinum miners stood out from the slump recorded in most of the miners as they traded mostly firmer due to firmer platinum metal prices. Northam Platinum [JSE:NHM] gained 1.88% to close at R107.00, Royal Bafokeng Platinum [JSE:RBP] added 1.84% to close at R43.79, and Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] inched up 0.64% to close at R1212.48.
Retailer, Pepkor Holdings [JSE:PPH] managed to post gains of 3.09% to close at R17.68, while Truworths [JSE:TRU] rose 1.79% to close at R51.10. Other significant gains on the day were recorded for Telkom [JSE:TKG] which advanced 3.9% to close at R46.89, as well as Aspen Pharmacare [JSE:APN] which closed at R117.40 after adding 2.27%.
The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 0.73% softer while the JSE Top-40 index shed 0.76%. The financials index only managed gains of 0.12%, while the industrials and resources indices shed 0.68% and 1.5% respectively.
At 17:00, platinum was trading 0.77% firmer at $900.20/Oz, palladium was 0.31% softer at $1837.80/Oz, while gold was flat at $1458.40/Oz.
Brent crude traded mostly weaker on the day before it was recorded trading 2.54% lower at $61.67/barrel just after the JSE close.
* Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group.