SA stocks fluctuate before possible tighter virus curbs

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A general view of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) precinct. 
Photo: Gallo Images/Sydney Seshibedi
A general view of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) precinct. Photo: Gallo Images/Sydney Seshibedi

South Africa’s main stock index erased a retreat of as much as 0.4% to be 0.1% higher as of 9:36 in Johannesburg, with the extension of a Brexit deadline, progress on vaccine deployment and US stimulus talks supporting investor appetite for riskier assets.

Bank stocks were higher, benefiting as the rand gained due to the favourable risk sentiment. Nedbank Group [JSE:NED] led the advance, climbing 1.3% as the sector index rose 0.7%.

MTN [JSE:MTN] was among the stocks providing the most support to the market, rising 6.7% to recover some of the heavy losses at the end of last week following the suspension of new SIM-card sales in Nigeria.

An index of gold stocks slipped as investor demand for haven assets waned. DRDGold [JSE:DRD] dropped 3%, with Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] down 1.2%, and AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] losing 0.9%.

Locally, much attention is focused on an address to the nation by President Cyril Ramaphosa later Monday, where he is widely expected to announce new measures to combat a resurgence in Covid-19 cases. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize last week declared that the country had entered a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Foreigners were net buyers of R3.6b of South African stocks on Friday, according to exchange operator JSE, the largest inflows since September 2019.

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