The JSE fell on Tuesday as global markets tumbled on the back of a rout in crude oil prices.
Monday saw an unprecedented event in the commodity markets as WTI crude oil futures prices for May delivery traded in the negative. This highlighted the extent of how low the demand is, as storage space has become scarce for the commodity.
As a result, the trend was mostly pessimistic across most global markets in Tuesday's session as investors try to gauge the impact the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic could still have on global growth.
On the currency market, more weakness was recorded for the rand as it breached R19/$ to reach a session low of R19.11/$. The local currency staged a minor recovery, however and at 17:00 CAT, it was recorded trading 0.86% lower at R18.99.
Losses on the local bourse were led by the resources index as miners struggled considerably on the day. Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] fell 13.6% to close at R97.38, Sibanye Stillwater [JSE:SSW] fell 10.03% to close at R29.50, while Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] tumbled 9.18% to close at R825.00.
BHP Group [JSE:BHP] which released a half-year operational review, lost 5.35% to close at R289.09, while Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] weakened by 5.42% to close at R316.83, and Glencore [JSE:GLN] closed at R31.33 after losing 5.58%.
SA Corporate Real Estate [JSE:SAC] fell 15.33% to close at R1.16, while Redefine Properties [JSE:RDF] dropped 5.45% to end the day at R2.43. Significant declines were also recorded for Hyprop Investments [JSE:HYP] which lost 7.56% to close at R17.25.
A handful of stocks managed to record decent gains on the day. Construction firm, WBHO [JSE:WBO] surged 4.2% to close at R92.00, while holding company Brait [JSE:BAT] advanced 3.43% to close at R3.62.
MTN Group [JSE:MTN] advanced 3.06% to close at R44.76, while its industry peer Vodacom [JSE:VOD] added 1.27% to close at R119.29. Gains were also recorded for Sirius Real Estate [JSE:SRE] which rose 1.92% to close at R15.90, Old Mutual [JSE:OMU] which climbed 1.52% to close at R12.04, and AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] which closed at R424.20 after gaining a modest 0.72%.
The JSE Top-40 index eventually closed 2.36% weaker while the JSE All-share index lost 2.5%. Resources struggled the most amongst the major indices as it lost 4.5%. The financials and industrials indices lost 1.58% and 1.3% respectively.
The pressure on brent crude did not subside as the commodity was recorded trading 21.51% weaker at $20.08/barrel just after the JSE close.
At 17:00 CAT, gold was 0.82% softer at $1 682.49/Oz, platinum was down 4.37% at $740.56/Oz, and palladium had lost 11.79% to trade at $1 916.62/Oz.
* Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group