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JSE treads water as rand gains on positive data

Oct 13 2017 14:39
David van Rooyen


Company Data

KUMBA IRON ORE LIMITED [JSE:KIO]

Last traded 357
Change 7
% Change 2
Cumulative volume 348747
Market cap 0

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

GLENCORE PLC [JSE:GLN]

Last traded 64
Change 1
% Change 2
Cumulative volume 342329
Market cap 0

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

ASPEN PHARMACARE HOLDINGS LIMITED [JSE:APN]

Last traded 286
Change -2
% Change -1
Cumulative volume 455944
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 - Better-than-expected news on the South African economy gave the rand another boost on Friday as the currency continued its rally of the last few days, with share prices on the JSE hardly moving in line with the stronger rand.

With the rand trading at R13.40 to the dollar, compared to an intraday low of R13.86 on Monday, share prices dropped back initially for the second day. The major indices recovered somewhat later on but were barely in the black by mid-morning on Friday.

The news that mining production in August was 6.9% higher than a year ago surprised the market and improved sentiment towards the rand.

The most recent manufacturing data also surprised on the upside, and all eyes will now be on the latest retail data, which will be published later this month.

Besides good news about the South African economy, which increased demand for the rand, the dollar’s strong run of late was also brought to a halt by the more dovish comments from the Federal Reserve in the minutes of its latest meeting. The rand is now trading at its strongest level since September 27.

By mid-morning the All-share index was only 0.03% higher at 57 763 points, while the Top 40 index was unchanged at 51 351 points. This was mainly due to the Industrial index losing 0.24% as the big dual-listed shares in the index, which earn most of their income in foreign currencies, earn less in rand if the local unit is strong.

The Resources index also usually loses ground when the rand is firm as mining companies sell their commodities in dollar, but mining company shares gained in response to increased production figures. The Resources index was 0.44% stronger by mid-morning.

The star performer in the resources sector was Kumba [JSE:KIO], which gained more than 5% in early morning trade. Kumba hardly moved over the past 30 days as iron prices dropped back sharply on overproduction fears, but some analysts now say that the correction might soon be overdone.

The share responded by gaining 4.50% by mid-morning to a new 52-week high of R246.25, reaching as high as R249.60 in early trade. It gained almost 50% over the past 90 days.

Shares connected with Kumba also traded on 52-week highs. Exxaro [JSE:EXX], which owns 20% of Kumba, lifted 1.67% to a new high of R143.05. The stock gained more than 48% over the past 90 days.

Anglo American [JSE:AGL], Kumba’s holding company, at mid-morning was 0.51% higher at R258.00. On Thursday last week Anglo stood on a new 52-week high of R264.11 and before Friday’s trade it was already 48% stronger over the previous 90 days.

Glencore [JSE:GLN] was 1.64% higher on a high of R66.15, just 1 cent higher than the previous 52-week high. BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] was 0.51% stronger at R258.00.

Among the busiest industrial shares, Naspers traded 0.47% lower at R3 185.06 but Aspen [JSE:APN] added 0.33% to R320.24.

A stronger rand is good news for financial shares, and the Financial index gained 0.29%. Some of the top banks were among the busiest shares on the JSE. Barclays Africa [JSE:BGA] was however only 0.03% higher at R146.59 and Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] gained only 0.24% to R167.90. FirstRand [JSE:FSR] was 0.33% lower at R54.20.

Capitec [JSE:CPI], which crept up more than 4% over the previous seven days, was however on a new 52-week high. The share jumped 1.08% to a high of R935.28.

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equities  |  jse  |  markets

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