SA stocks in uncharted territory

Johannesburg - South African stocks are expected to finish the week lower after adding more than 3% last week, traders and charts predict, but the results from stress tests on Europe's largest banks are likey to set the agenda.

"We're in uncharted territory now. Every time we get to the 28 0000 level on the all share (index), we pull back, so we could see some profit-taking this week," says Barend Saayman, a trader at PSG Online Securities.

Since May the all share index has twice failed to sustain a run above the 28 000 mark.

Charts sugggest there is little room for further advances. The index's slow stochastic is currently above the overbought mark of 80, while its 14-day relative strength index, or RSI, is nearing the overbought level of 70.

The slow stochastic and RSI are gauges of momentum used by technical analysts.

In another bearish signal, the index is trading above its upper Bollinger band.

"I think we might see a bit of profit but a lot will depend on what's going on with stress tests in Europe and earnings results in the US," Mitchell Gannaway, a trader at Thebe Securities says.

In a bid to reassure financial markets, Europe's banking watchdogs are conducting stress tests to assess the resilience of their banks to economic shocks and market risks.

Investors are also expected to keep an eye on US and domestic companies earnings while local economic data in the form producer price and consumer price inflation are due later in the week.

- Reuters

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