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JSE softer as momentum fades

Feb 08 2018 18:33
Musa Makoni, EasyEquities

Cape Town - The JSE closed weaker on Thursday as the momentum from the previous day quickly faded.

The local bourse failed to take a leaf from the firmer close in Asian equities and traded mostly lower for the day.

Index heavyweights Naspers [JSE:NPN] and BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] dragged the blue chip index lower as they lost 0.64% and 0.99% respectively. The majority of the miners were also trading under pressure due to softer commodity prices. Miners such as Sibanye-Stillwater [JSE:SGL], Lonmin [JSE:LON] and Exxaro [JSE:EXX] lost 3.92%, 3.95% and 3.07% respectively.

Other losers on the day included retailers Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK] and Massmart [JSE:MSM] which lost 2.18% and 1.52% respectively, whilst financial stocks such as First Rand [JSE:FSR] and Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] lost 0.42% and 1.01% respectively. Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] released a trading statement which disappointed due to the expected decrease in profit, and as a result the stock closed 4.06% lower at R48.05 per share.

Pan African Resources jumped 15.13% to close at R1.75 per share, whilst Consolidated Infrastructure gained another 6.10%. Listed property stocks continued to fight back with stocks such as Resilient [JSE:RES], Arrowhead Properties [JSE:AWA] and Hyprop [JSE:HYP] gaining 3.60%, 3.00% and 2.26% respectively.

On the blue-chip index, Investec PLC [JSE:INP] and Investec Limited [JSE:INL] traded firmer to close the day up 2.99% and 1.92% respectively. Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] and Richemont [JSE:CFR] gained 2.11% and 1.40% respectively, whilst Vodacom [JSE:VOD] inched up 0.63%.

The JSE All-Share index closed 0.44% lower, while the Top-40 index shed 0.49%. The Resources index continued to be weighed down by softer commodity prices to close the day down 1.39%. The other major indices also traded in the red which saw the Industrials index shedding 0.39% whilst the Financials index was mainly flat as it lost 0.05%.

Despite a lower than anticipated build in US Crude Oil inventories, Brent Crude eased in Thursday’s session to reach an intra-day low of $64.68/barrel. On the JSE, Sasol [JSE:SOL] traded softer to end the day 3.69% lower at R391.00 per share. Brent Crude was trading at $65.07/barrel just after the JSE close.

Gold continued to weaken on Thursday as the US dollar extended its gains. The precious metal slipped to an intra-day low of $1 307.17/Oz before rebounding to trade at $1 314.53 just after the JSE close.

Palladium traded relatively flat on Thursday following consecutive sessions of significant losses. The metal was trading at $990.42/Oz just after the JSE close, after having traded at an intra-day low of $979.80/Oz.

Platinum was also little changed to trade at $974.40/Oz just after the close.

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