The JSE struggled for direction on Monday before eventually closing mildly softer after a muted session.
With no significant data being released locally or from major global markets, stocks struggled to gain momentum in any direction. Stocks on the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite Index closed softer while the Nikkei managed to post gains. In Europe, stocks tracked mostly lower while US equity futures were weaker which led to a softer US spot market open on Monday.
The rand traded mostly weaker on the day before it found some traction towards the JSE close. The rand fell to a session low of R14.67/$ in earlier trading before it was recorded trading 0.21% firmer at R14.58/$ at 17:00.
On the local bourse, Stadio Holdings [JSE:SDO] came under significant pressure on the day as it lost 6.39% to close at R2.05. Gold miners traded mostly weaker on the day with declines being recorded for DRD Gold [JSE:DRD] which lost 2.57% to close at R6.82, Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] which retreated 1.87% to close at R85.04, while AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] lost a more modest 0.48% to close at R275.67.
Healthcare specialist, Netcare [JSE:NTC] struggled as it fell 2.31% to close at R19.46, while hospitality group Sun International [JSE:SUI] dropped 2.98% to close at R39.75. Rand sensitive stocks retreated on the back of the softer rand which saw declines for Woolworths [JSE:WHL] which lost 1.88% to close at R48.50, Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] which dropped 1.33% to close at R162.57, and The Foschini Group [JSE:TFG] closed at R151.92 after losing 1.68%.
Assore [JSE:ASR] closed amongst the day's biggest movers after it rallied 6.7% to close at R258.72, while Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] gained 4.26% to close at R415.74. Packaging firm, Nampak [JSE:NPK] surged 5.61% to close at R6.02, while industry peer Sappi [JSE:SAP] added 1.46% to close at R43.12.
Diversified miner, South32 [JSE:S32] advanced 4.18% to close at R26.41, while platinum miner Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] gained 1.68% to close at R127.00. Gains were also recorded for Barloworld [JSE:BAW] which added 1.47% to close at R110.38, Bid Corporation [JSE:BID] which rose 0.85% to R334.00, and Hyprop Investments [JSE:HYP] which closed at R53.87 after adding 2.41%.
The JSE All-Share index eventually close 0.02% softer while the JSE Top-40 index shed 0.09%. The Resources index managed to post gains of 0.25%, while the Industrials and Financials indices retreated 0.1% and 0.49% respectively.
At 17:00, gold was 0.2% firmer at $1462.37/Oz, palladium had risen 0.74% to trade at $1892.18/Oz, and platinum was up 0.12% at $897.85/Oz.
Brent crude traded mostly flat on the day before it was recorded trading 0.25% softer at $64.22/barrel just after the JSE close.
* Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group.