JSE closes flat after erratic session as rand takes a beating

Johannesburg - The JSE managed to close flat on Monday after a volatile trading session.

The volatility on the local bourse could largely be attributed to the rand, which weakened significantly against the greenback to a new five-month low of R12.89/$.

This weakness was due to the US dollar which has advanced against a basket of major currencies over the past month, and as of today the US dollar index briefly broke out above 94 index points.

The local unit firmed marginally towards the JSE close to trade at R12.79/$ at 17:00.

Diversified miners Anglo American Plc [JSE:AGL] and BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] were buoyed by the weaker rand, which saw them gain 1.97% and 1.95% respectively.

Mr Price [JSE:MRP] and Massmart [JSE:MSM] sprung higher despite the softer local currency as they ended the day up 2.23% and 1.46% respectively.

Brait [JSE:BAT] jumped 6.31% to end as one the day’s top gainers on the broader All-Share Index, while Tongaat [JSE:TON] gained 4.74% to close at R90.08 per share.

African Rainbow Minerals [JSE:ARI] and Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] managed to add 2.26% and 2.78% respectively, while EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] ended the day 4.79% firmer.

On the losers' side, Lewis [JSE:LEW] came under significant pressure to end the day down 6.49% at R38.34 per share.

Bluetel [JSE:BLU] also traded under pressure which saw the stock close at R10.80 per share, down 7.46% for the day. Metair [JSE:MTA] and Ascendis Health [JSE:ASC] ended the day 6.68% and 2.63% weaker respectively.

Vodacom [JSE:VOD] was the one of the biggest losers on the blue-chip index after the stock closed 2.37% weaker at R147.00 per share.

Naspers [JSE:NPN] erased earlier gains to end the day down 0.67%, while Bid Corporation [JSE:BID] closed 2.11% weaker. Aspen [JSE:APN] and British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] lost 2.59% and 1.36% respectively.

Following an erratic trading session the JSE All-Share Index eventually closed 0.01% firmer, while the JSE Top-40 Index inched up 0.04%.

The Resources Index managed to firm by 1.14% while the Financials Index gained 0.27%. The Industrials Index bucked the trend and closed the day 0.53% weaker.

Gold traded mostly weaker as the US dollar extended its gains to reach a session low of $1 282.18 per ounce. The US dollar retraced from its highs, which gave gold an opportunity to bounce from its low to trade at $1 288.42/oz at 17:00.

Platinum traded mostly weaker but it gained momentum towards the JSE close.

After reaching a session low of $878.05/oz, the metal retraced to trade at $888.95/oz at 17:00.

Palladium traded firmer on the day and at 17:00 it was trading at $978.80/oz, up over 1.3% for the day.

Global markets digested the impact of the Venezuelan election results on oil which resulted in the commodity trading weaker on the day.

Brent crude reached a session low of $78.10 per barrel. However, it retraced to trade flat when the JSE closed as it was recorded at $78.44/barrel.

Bitcoin traded softer in today’s trading session as it slid below $8 500 per coin to trade at $8399.80 at 17:00. Ethereum was trading at $698.00 per coin at the same time.

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