JSE mildly softer as financials struggle

The JSE traded mostly flat on Monday as it struggled for direction before closing marginally softer.

The local unit did not advance like other major global peers as a combination of weak local earnings and weakness in the financials index saw the JSE struggle to gain any momentum.

Global markets were spurred by news that China was going to raise penalties on intellectual property violations, in a move which is seen as boosting chances of a trade deal with the USA. The local currency also retreated to start the week as it fell to a session low of R14.79/$.

The rand was trading 0.35% softer at R14.75/$ at 17.00 CAT.

On the JSE, Nampak [JSE:NPK] highlighted that it is expecting a lower earnings in full-year trading statement which saw the stock fall 5.86% to close R6.75. Listed property stocks traded mostly weaker in today’s session as losses were recorded for Accelerate Property Fund [JSE:APF] which lost 7.94% to close at R1.74, Fortress REIT [JSE:FFB] which dropped 5.12% to close at R8.16, and Hyprop Investments [JSE:HYP] which closed at R58.66 after losing 1.53%. Discovery Ltd [JSE:DSY] lost 4.67% to close at R122.98, while Old Mutual [JSE:OMU] fell 2.13% to close at R19.26. Banks also cam under considerable pressure as losses were recorded for Nedbank [JSE:NED] which lost 4.15% to close at R227.52, and Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] which closed at R170.24 after losing 2.74%. Diversified miners recorded most of the day’s gains. African Rainbow Minerals [JSE:ARI] advanced 4.11% to close at R163.39, BHP Group [JSE:BHP] gained 1.93% to close at R328.80, and Anglo American [JSE:AGL] which added 1.3% to close at R394.13.

Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] gained 3.57% to close at R395.55, while coal miner Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX] climbed 1.97% to close at R136.29. Other gainers on the day included Hammerson PLC [JSE:HMN] which added 2.6% to close at R55.97, Multichoice Group [JSE:MCG] which gained 2.46% to close at R125.00, and Richemont [JSE:CFR] which closed at R112.94 after gaining 1.27%.

share movement

The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 0.13% softer while the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index only shed 0.02%.

The Financials index was the only major index to close weaker as it lost 1.94%. The Industrials and Resources indices rose 0.16% and 1% respectively.Brent crude pulled back from its Friday’s highs as it was recorded trading 0.45% softer at R62.09/barrel just after the JSE close. At 17.00 CAT, Gold was 0.21% softer at $1459.10/Oz, Platinum was up 0.76% at $898.40/Oz, and Palladium had risen 1.52% to trade at $1802.89/Oz. 

*Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group.

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