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JSE in limbo as investors cautious on SA economy

Nov 14 2017 12:40
David van Rooyen

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Last traded 63
Change 1
% Change 1
Cumulative volume 198278
Market cap 0

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


Last traded 107
Change 0
% Change 0
Cumulative volume 1029423
Market cap 0

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


Last traded 3204
Change -96
% Change -3
Cumulative volume 248494
Market cap 0

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

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Johannesburg - The JSE went into limbo on Tuesday morning as investors are struggling to digest the flood of bad news on the economic front.

The rand stabilised somewhat at R14.45 to a dollar after Monday’s sharp drop, but fears that the country’s fiscal position might implode as President Jacob Zuma is trying to push through unaffordable populist measures to leave a legacy before his term ends, are keeping investors on the sideline.

This is particularly true of the financial index which has been moving mostly sideways as news of Zuma’s escapades increased the possibility of a further downgrade of South Africa’s credit rating.

By mid-morning the All-share index, which closed in the red on Monday after a promising start in the morning, was lower again on Tuesday and traded 0.09% softer at 59 767 points. The Top 40-index was at  that stage only 0.02% higher at 53 539 points. These indices were supported somewhat by the industrial index, which gained only 0.23% in morning trade.

That was mainly due to Naspers [JSE:NPN], by far the biggest share on the JSE, trading 0.70% higher at R3 598.95. The share price traded higher, despite Tencent, its Chinese subsidiary, losing ground over the past few days on the Hong Kong market as the Asian markets took a breather from their record breaking runs.

The major industrial shares were a mixed bag with British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] losing 1.09% to R931.70, but Richemont [JSE:CFR] was 0.54% strongerat R125.68.

In the retail sector Massmart lost 4.92% to R105.03, after gaining more than 3% over the previous seven days.

The resources index lost ground despite a relative weak rand and traded 1.14% softer. The gold index lost 2.65% on the back of a slightly weaker gold price.

The resources index was pulled lower by Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] which traded 5.91% softer at R37.71 by mid-morning after disappointing results. Earlier the share was almost 7% down on R37.21 and more than 3.2 million shares were traded.

Impala’s share price recovered nicely over the past few weeks and gained 22% over the past thirty days, but investors were clearly disillusioned by the results for the year until June. Impala suffered a headline earnings loss of 137c per share, compared to a profit of 12c in the previous year. Headline earnings dropped with R1.07bn to a loss of R987m.

The company ascribed the loss to weak low platinum metals basket prices combined with higher than inflation wage and electricity cost increases as well as a deterioration in productivity levels at certain operations.

Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS], which recently traded at a 52 week high of R418.00. lost 1.86% on Tuesday and again traded below R400 at R398.76. Lonmin [JSE:LON]  was 3.62% higher at R12.59.

The major mining conglomerates were all lower from their 52 week highs. Anglo American [JSE:AGL] was 0.47% softer at R282.17, BHP Billiton lost 1.44% to R267.10 and Glencore [JSE:GLN] traded 1.86% lower at R68.17.

Kumba [JSE:KIO] continued to defy the odds and was 1.19% stronger at R291.14. Kumba gained more than 63% over the past 60 days, but lost momentum over the past seven days, losing 1.04%.

Banking shares moved very little again. FirstRand [JSE:FSR] , which gained only 0.29% over the previous seven days and 0.54% over the past thirty days, was 0.76% higher at R52.94. Nedbank [JSE:NED], which moved only 0.35% over the previous week, lost only 0.14% to R210.73. Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] gave up 0.41% to trade at R165.93.

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