Local equities close flat as investors remain on edge

The local bourse closed weaker on Friday concluding another difficult trading week for global stocks.

China released its third quarter GDP numbers which came in worse than expected at 6.5% - lower than the forecasted 6.6%. Industrial production year-on-year (YoY) also slowed down to 5.8% from a prior recording of 6.1%.

Chinese stocks briefly traded weaker in Friday’s session, but they quickly rebounded as regulators pledged to put measures to encourage commercial banks to lend to private companies and to ease corporate financing.

As a result, Chinese equities surged with the mainland benchmark rising by 2.97%, while the Hang Seng firmed by 0.42%. In Hong Kong, Tencent Holdings recovered in the second session to end the day up 0.36% at $HK282.00 per share.

The JSE opened marginally firmer but it struggled to maintain those gains as it traded mostly softer.

Significant gains were recorded for Clover Industries [JSE:CLR] after the company issued a cautionary statement notifying shareholders about negotiations with a third party, regarding a potential acquisition by the third party of its entire issued share capital. The stock jumped by 18.44% to close at R16.70.

Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] also recorded significant gains to end the day up 11.88% at R37.20.

On the JSE Top-40 index, Clicks [JSE:CLS] was one of the index’s top gainers after the stock added 4.94% to close at R166.00, while Old Mutual [JSE:OMU] picked up 2.45% to close at R23.41.

Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] had some reprieve as it closed 0.97% firmer at R68.85, and Life Healthcare [JSE:LHC] closed at R24.12 after posting gains of 0.58%.

Telecoms provider, Telkom [JSE:TKG], finished amongst the day’s biggest losers after dropping 3.09% to close at R51.07.

Platinum miner, Lonmin [JSE:LON] retreated by 3.35% to close at R10.11, while Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] lost 2.91% to end the day at R25.66.

Barloworld [JSE:BAW] retreated to close at R115.73 after dropping 2.34%, and Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] fell by 2.08% to close at R285.26 per share.

The JSE All-Share index closed the day 0.08% weaker, while the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index lost 0.09%. The financials index inched up 0.18%, however the industrials and resources indices shed 0.12% and 0.29% respectively.

After weakening overnight, the rand pulled back on Friday as the US dollar took a breather from its rally. The rand managed to strengthen to a session high of R14.31/$ before being recorded at R14.40/$ at 17:00.

Brent crude notched up above $80/barrel to peak at a session $80.88/barrel. The commodity was trading at $80.44/barrel just after the JSE close.

At 17:00 gold was up 0.14% at $1227.47/Oz, platinum was 0.66% firmer to fetch $833.28/Oz and palladium was trading 1.14% higher a $1085.29/Oz.

Bitcoin was down 2.18% to trade at $6557.30/coin and Ethereum was 2.38% weaker at $205.38/coin.

Winners and losers, October 19.

  • Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at GT247.com.

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