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Shoprite-led retail rally fuels JSE

Aug 22 2017 18:30
Martin Harris, EasyEquities

Johannesburg - The JSE pushed higher for a second consecutive session on Tuesday as positive financial results provided a boost to the equity market.

The rand weakened by 0.23% to R13.21, favouring the larger rand-hedge stocks. 

The JSE All-share index closed 1.05% higher while the blue-chip Top40 gained 1.14% as local retailers rallied.  General retailers traded 2.72% higher on Tuesday following strong results from Shoprite [JSE:SHP].

Shoprite posted a 12% risk in annual profit on Tuesday, amidst a weak consumer environment, with sales rising by 8.4%. The stock gained 8.01% and closed the trading session at R217.11.

Woolworths [JSE:WHL] gained 3.57% to R67.28, Truworths [JSE:TRU] 3.44% to R82.75 and Mr Price [JSE:MRP] 2.81% to R183.00.

BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] gained 2.5% to R237.25 as the global miner looks to sell its US shale operations.  The business reported an uptick in full-year profits, accompanied by a lift in a second-half dividend pay-out to shareholders. 

The sale of the US shale operations follows months of campaigning by New York hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. BHP bought the US oil and gas business at the height of the oil boom and has since come under pressure from investors, including Elliott Management to spin out the division as investors have questioned the fit between BHP's petroleum division and mining of iron ore, copper and other minerals.

Crude oil gained 0.35% to $51.84/bbl as OPEC announced it will debate whether to "extend or terminate" the OPEC production cut at a meeting in late November, according to Kuwait Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq, who is "optimistic" about finding an agreement. According to Dow Jones, compliance with production cuts fell to 94% in July from 98%, due to higher production by Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has revealed a reversal of strategy in Afghanistan, warning against creating a vacuum for terrorists, but declined to give details on troop levels. Defence stocks have nearly doubled the S&P 500's performance since Trump's election.

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

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