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JSE climbs higher as rand sensitives continue to perform

Jan 17 2018 17:52
Musa Makoni, EasyEquities

Cape Town - Retail and financial stocks lifted the JSE on Wednesday as they recorded another day of gains.

Retail Sales data released by StatsSA beat estimates. The year-on-year number was recorded at 8.2% on the back of an estimate of 3.5%, which resulted in most of the retail stocks rallying despite a relatively softer rand.

Gains amongst the blue chip stocks were led by Shoprite [JSE:SHP] which released a positive trading update on Tuesday. The stock firmed to close the day up 4.99% at R230.97 per share. Massmart [JSE:MSM] and Spar Group [JSE:SPP] gained 4.49% and 3.84% respectively, whilst Woolworths [JSE:WHL] managed to recoup some losses from Tuesday’s slump to end the day up 2.69%.

Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] and MTN [JSE:MTN] recorded decent gains of 3.49% and 3.99% respectively. Banking stocks recorded gains, but not to the same extent as on Tuesday. First Rand [JSE:FSR], Nedbank [JSE:NED] and Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] gained 1.84%, 1.22% and 1.61% respectively.

Adapt IT [JSE:ADI] which has been trading under pressure for the past few months released a positive trading statement. The statement indicated that they are expecting healthy increases in EPS and HEPS for the 6 months ended 31 December 2017. As a result the stock gained 4.38% to close at R8.35 per share.

On the losers side Lewis Group [JSE:LEW] group shed 3.38% to close at R25.14 per share. This was after the announcement of the approval by competition authorities of their proposed acquisition of United Furniture Outlets. EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] lost 2.38% to close at R64.74 per share, whilst Brait [JSE:BAT] and Bidcorp [JSE:BID] lost 2.99% and 2.16% respectively.

The JSE All-Share index inched up by 0.45% whilst the JSE Top-40 index gained 0.54%. All the major indices closed in the green with the Industrials index gaining 0.59% whilst the Resources index managed to close flat, up 0.03%. The Financials index gained 0.73%.

Brent Crude continued to trade softer as it slid to an intra-day low of $68.55 per barrel. It recovered slightly to trade at $69.11 per barrel just after the JSE close.

Gold had a minor rally overnight during US equity markets trading but it traded softer in today’s session as it got to a low of $1 333.18/Oz. This was after the US dollar index rebounded sharply following a slump in early Wednesday morning trading.

Platinum jumped back above $1000/Oz to peak at $1 008.05/Oz before it retraced slightly to trade at $1 005.36 just after the JSE close.

Palladium also traded softer after a minor rally overnight and it was recorded at $1 103.15/Oz just after the JSE close.

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