The local bourse recorded another lackluster trading session as the positive momentum from US markets overnight failed to filter into the session.
US markets surged to new all-time highs on Wednesday as market participants priced in a higher possibility of a Fed interest rate cut given weaker US economic data that was released on the day. With the all-important non-farm payrolls data expected to be released on Friday, investors will be watching the data closely as more weakness could probably increase the Fed’s incentive to cut rates thereby likely sending the stock market into another rally in the next session or two.
The sentiment surrounding a potential US Fed rate hike saw an increase in the appetite for emerging currencies including the rand which rallied against the greenback on Thursday. The rand broke the support at R14.00/$ as it peaked at a session high of R13.95/$. At 17:00, the rand had retraced to trade 0.08% firmer at R14.03/$.
Losses on the JSE were led by resources counters particularly from the bourse’s biggest miners which struggled on the day. Diversified mining giant Anglo American [JSE:AGL] fell 1.25% to close at R386.84, while BHP Group [JSE:BHP] dropped to close at R355.44 after losing 1.67%. Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] struggled despite iron ore prices surging on the day as it closed 2.03% weaker at R509.02. South32 [JSE:S32] lost 2.11% as it closed at R31.59, while Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] ended the day 1.15% lower at R31.06. Naspers [JSE:NPN] closed 0.91% softer at R3448.35, while Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] closed at R56.69 after shedding 1.78%.
EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] was one of the day’s biggest gainers
after the stock surged 13.05% to close at R22.35, while Blue Label Telecoms
[JSE:BLU] advanced 4.12% to close at R4.55. KAP Industrial Holdings [JSE:KAP]
rose 3.86% as it closed at R5.92, while Brait [JSE:BAT] climbed to R19.10 after
gaining 2.52%. Retailers were lifted by the firmer rand which saw stocks such
as Truworths [JSE:TRU] add 1.65% to end the day at R68.49, while Massmart [JSE:MSM]
firmed by 1.76% to close at R64.31.
The JSE All-Share index closed 0.34% firmer while the JSE Top-40 index added 0.41%. The industrials index barely closed firmer as it added 0.02%, the financials index lost momentum towards the close to end the day 0.1% weaker, while the resources index fell 1.01%.
At 17:00, palladium was 0.39% weaker at $1566.40/Oz, platinum had lost 0.29% to trade at $836.50/Oz, and gold was down 0.16% at $1416.63/Oz.
Brent crude eased marginally from its overnight highs as it was recorded trading 0.41% at $63.56/barrel just after
the JSE close.
*Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group