Renewed trade talks fail to lift JSE sentiment

The JSE retreated on Wednesday despite a broad-based rebound across the major global markets on the back of positive news from Chinese officials.

China indicated that it is open to a limited deal with the US provided no additional tariffs are imposed on it at the next high-level talks which are set to resume on Thursday.

With the revived hopes of a positive outcome in these upcoming trade talks, European and US stocks rebounded to trade firmer on the day. However, the JSE took a leaf from Asian markets which closed weaker with losses being recorded for the Nikkei and the Hang Seng, while the Shanghai Composite Index only managed to gain 0.14%.

The rand strengthened against the greenback as emerging market currencies staged a minor rebound. At 17:00 CAT, the rand was trading 0.52% firmer at R15.20/$.
On the JSE, losses were led by coal miner Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX] which was trading ex-dividend as it lost 12.79% to close at R120.03. EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] stumbled further in Wednesday's session as it lost 6.66% to end the day at R12.47.

Some of the listed property stocks came under pressure with losses being recorded for Hyprop Investments [JSE:HYP] which lost 5.92% to close at R58.00; NEPI Rockcastle [JSE:NRP] dropped 2.355 to close at R131.40; while MAS Real Estate [JSE:MSP] fell 4.72% to close at R17.15.

Retailer, Truworths [JSE:TRU] fell 5.32% to close at R50.33, while its sector peer The Foschini Group [JSE:TFG] stumbled 3.64% to close at R157.39.

Losses were also recorded for Sappi [JSE:SAP] which lost 3.33% to close at R37.49; Bid Corporation [JSE:BID] which lost 1.12% to R337.00; and BHP Group [JSE:BHP] which closed at R309.30 after falling 1.09%.

Gains were once again limited mostly to miners. Pan African Resources [JSE:PAN] surged 5.07% as it closed at R2.28; Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGL] gained 3.54% to end the day at R25.18; while Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] climbed to R380.32 after rising 2.81%. AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] gained 2.83% as it closed at R324.49; Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] climbed 2.41% to R85.86; and Northam Platinum [JSE:NHM] added 2.34% to R95.79.

Other significant gainers on the day included Bidvest Group [JSE:BVT] which rose 1.13% to R193.13, and Anglo American PLC [JSE:AGL] which gained 0.92% to close at R342.31.

The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 0.35% while the JSE Top-40 index shed 0.32%. The resources index only gained a modest 0.11%, while the industrials and financials indices lost 0.64% and 0.31% respectively.

Brent crude also rose on the hopes of renewed trade talks which saw it trading 0.5% firmer at $58.53/barrel just after the JSE close.
At 17:00 CAT; platinum was down 0.2% to trade at $888.10/Oz; gold was up 0.1% at $1 507.08/Oz, and palladium had firmed 0.59% to trade at $1 684.80/Oz.

* Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group.


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