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Blue chips tip the all-share index lower

Mar 04 2020 18:59
*Musa Makoni

Local stocks lost momentum towards the close to end the day softer on Wednesday, while global stocks remained upbeat on the back of stimulus pledges from the world biggest central banks.

US stocks had a volatile trading session on Tuesday following the surprise cut in interest rates of 50 basis points. US indices closed weaker after big swings between gains and losses throughout the session. In Asia markets trading on Wednesday, the Shanghai Composite Index only advanced 0.58%, while the Nikkei eked out gains of 0.08% despite weaker Chinese Caixin services PMI data.

The Hang Seng shed 0.24%. Stocks in Europe recorded stronger momentum with benchmarks rising by more than a percent on average. US stocks managed to open firmer as well as Wednesday. Following in the footsteps of the US Fed, the Bank of Canada also cut its benchmark rates by 50 basis points on Wednesday.

On the currency market, the rand found some traction in today’s session as it strengthened against the greenback. The rand was trading 0.38% firmer at R15.34/$ at 17.00 CAT.

Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] plummeted 33.81% to close at R1.39 following the release of an update on its strategy to fix its balance sheet. Hammerson PLC [JSE:HMN] was not spared as it fell 4.4% to close at R37.60. Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] which is now trading ex-dividend retreated 3.75% to close at R1117.62, while diversified mining giant BHP Group [JSE:BHP] lost 3.46% to close at R282.54. Another index giant, Anglo American PLC [JSE:AGL] weakened by 1.63% to close at R374.44, while Richemont [JSE:CFR] dropped 2.69% to end the day at R104.11. Losses were also recorded for Sasol [JSE:SOL] which fell 3.41% to close at R186.25, as well as Sappi [JSE:SAP] which closed at R30.00 after losing 1.7%.


Gold miners advanced in today’s session led by gains in DRD Gold [JSE:DRD] which rallied 7.61% to close at R11.45, AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] which gained 4.38% to close at R317.83, while Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] added 5.75% to close at R60.10. MAS Real Estate [JSE:MSP] surged 7.99% to close at R17.98, while RDI REIT [JSE:RPL] climbed 6.65% to close at R24.85. Rand sensitives advanced on the back of the firmer rand which saw gains being recorded for retailers such as Truworths [JSE:TRU] which added 1.45% to close at R46.25, and Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK] which rose 1.06% to close at R57.00. Financials also tracked higher on the day with gains being recorded for Old Mutual [JSE:OMU] which advanced 1.84% to close at R16.57, as well as Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] which closed at R152.46 after rising 1.3%.

The JSE All-Share index closed 0.06% milder while the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index lost 0.23%. The Financials index managed to surge 1.13%, however the Industrials and Resources indices lost 0.12% and 1.1% respectively.

At 17.00 CAT, Gold was 0.14% firmer at $1641.72/Oz, Platinum was 0.34% firmer at $877.77/Oz, while Palladium was down 0.98% to trade at $2476.37/Oz.

Brent crude was recorded trading 1.39% firmer at $52.44/barrel just after the JSE close.

*Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group

purple group  |  market wrap


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