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Markets lower ahead of ANC elective conference

Dec 15 2017 17:48
Musa Makoni, EasyEquities

Cape Town - The local bourse closed weaker on Friday as the gains from the previous day’s bounce were quickly erased.

The index opened weaker and continued to trade under pressure for the entirety of Friday's trading session. The move lower was mainly driven by blue chip stocks such as Naspers [JSE:NPN], Steinhoff International [JSE:SNH] and Shoprite [JSE:SHP] which lost which lost 3.09%, 9.98% and 5.74% respectively.

PSG Group [JSE:PSG] lost 2.64% to close at R243.41 per share. Steinhoff International also announced the sale of 20.6 million shares in PSG Group, which reduces its indirect interest in the business to approximately 16% from 25.5%. Other notable moves lower were from EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH], Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] and Barloworld [JSE:BAW] which lost 4.00%, 3.64% and 5.02% respectively.

Gold mining stocks AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] and Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] benefitted from the firmer rand as they notched up 2.05% and 5.87% respectively. Acquisition target, Lonmin [JSE:LON] continued on its positive trend to close the day up 12.69%, whilst on the other hand Sibanye-Stillwater gained 3.47%.

Hospitality firm Sun international [JSE:SUI] gained 6.00% to close at R59.89 per share, whilst WBHO [JSE:WBO] jumped 3.06%. Anglo American Platinum climbed 2.11% to close at R345.46 per share, mainly on the back of a positive trading statement which forecasted increases in both headline earnings and earnings per share to be greater than 20%.

The blue chip JSE Top-40 Index eventually closed down 1.04% whilst the JSE All-Share index lost 0.81%. The Industrials index and the Financials index lost 1.30% and 0.32% respectively, whilst the Resources index was flat to record minor gains of 0.04%.

The rand strengthened significantly against the greenback to peak at R13.25/$. However, investors should expect some volatility when the new ANC president is announced after this weekend’s ANC conference. At 17:00, the USD/ZAR was trading at R13.28/$.

Brent Crude jumped on the back of news that the Forties Pipeline System in the North Sea had come back online. It had been forced to shut down due to a crack along the pipeline. Brent Crude jumped to an intra-day high of $63.68 per barrel, and at 17:00 it was trading at $63.29 per barrel.

On the JSE, Sasol [JSE:SOL] closed at R431.10 per share, up 2.11% for the day.

On the metal commodities front, gold continued on its positive trend from Thursday night to record a 3rd consecutive session of gains. It was trading at $1 255.90/Oz just after the JSE closed, after having managed to peak at $1 261.87/Oz.

Palladium reached a price level last recorded in 2001 in Thursday’s trading session. The high on Thursday was $1 039.18/Oz, but on Friday the metal lost that momentum to end the day down more than 0.9%. It was trading at $1 029.04/Oz just after the JSE closed.

Platinum is still failing to gain significant traction and today it traded softer yet again. The metal was recorded at $884.55 per ounce just after the JSE closed.

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jse  |  markets


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