JSE closes weaker as strong rand drags down mining stocks

Apr 20 2017 18:32
Martin Harris, Trading desk at EasyEquities

(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

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Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

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Cape Town - Trading on the local bourse remained weak on Thursday as the stronger rand stifled the rand-hedge stocks, whilst supporting interest-rate sensitive banks and retailers.

The weak start to the morning was due to broad-based losses on gold and platinum shares, as they retreated due to softer commodity prices.
The financial sector was largely supported by a firmer rand, following on from Wednesday’s gains due to better than expected CPI data, with the Banking Index climbing 0.78%.  

The positive move was shared by the General Retail Index which gained 1.05%.  At the close of the market, the local currency traded at R13.15 to the greenback, from lows of R13.90 last week, easing inflation concerns related to economic sensitivity to the dollar.  

The JSE blue-chip Top40 Index slipped 0.08%, while the broader All Share Index closed the day 0.09% down.  Most sectors chalked losses, with the Resource Index shedding 1.13%, whilst the Industrial Index firmed 0.16%.  

The Gold Index dropped 3.38% as a falling dollar gold price claimed casualties among the gold miners, with AngloGold [JSE:ANG] and Goldfields [JSE:GFI] losing 4.03% and 3.36% respectively.  

International markets

London: Negotiations around Brexit’s Article 50 can only begin after the snap general election on June 8, according to the European Commission. The news comes after Theresa May secured parliament's backing for an early election. Europe’s main markets were mostly higher, with the German Dax Index gaining 0.18% and the UK FTSE100 firming 0.04%.

US markets opened stronger, with the S&P500 trading 0.33% since the open, led by financial and industrial stocks. US treasures trended weaker, with the yield on the 10-year bond at 2.2314% from 2.2164%. US weekly jobless claim data beat estimates as claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 19000 to a seasonally adjusted 223 000 for the week ended 25 February – the lowest level since 1973.

Brent Crude Oil stabilised at $53/bbl after steep losses in the previous session, as Kuwait leaders signalled an extension of supply cuts beyond the middle of the year. Concerns surrounding oversupply and consistently increasing US shale production continue to weigh on prices.

*This report is from the Trading Desk at EasyEquities, Fin24's latest content partner on equities and market moves.

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