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JSE firms on positive global sentiment

Mar 12 2018 19:31
Musa Makoni, EasyEquities

Cape Town - The JSE started the week on a positive note as it was buoyed by the current positive sentiment in global equity markets.

US equity markets rallied on Friday on the back of non-farm payrolls numbers which beat estimates. As a result Asian equity markets reacted positively to the data as the Nikkei and the Hang Seng closed up 1.65% and 1.93% on Monday. The JSE opened firmer and traded in the green for the entire session as the blue chip counters led from the front.

First Rand [JSE:FSR] led the blue chip counters as it gained 3.21% to close at R68.55 per share, whilst Lewis [JSE:LEW] was one of the biggest gainers of the day after it gained 8.36%. Telecommunication services providers Vodacom [JSE:VOD] and MTN [JSE:MTN] added 2.18% and 1.05% respectively, whilst banking stocks Nedbank [JSE:NED] and Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] climbed 1.21% and 1.04% respectively.

Richemont [JSE:CFR] gained 1.20% to close at R105.67 per share, whilst Naspers [JSE:NPN] gained 0.23% as it was buoyed by Tencent Holdings’ firmer close on the Hang Seng on Monday. EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] firmed 0.96% to close at R73.70 per share as it announced a major restructure of its business. Retailer Massmart [JSE:MSM] gained 1.34%, whilst commodity trader and miner, Glencore [JSE:GLN] inched up 0.38% firmer.

Listed property stocks Resilient [JSE:RES], Greenbay Properties [JSE:GRP] and Fortress B [JSE:FFB] came under significant pressure to end the day down 7.41%, 9.29% and 6.80% respectively. Sun International [JSE:SUI] lost 6.05% whilst Sappi [JSE:SAP] and Aspen [JSE:APN] also came under significant pressure to end the day down 4.99% and 5.10% respectively. A weaker iron ore price weighed on Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] as it ended the day 3.90% lower.

Gold miners AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] and Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] lost 1.59% and 1.80% respectively on the back of weaker gold prices, whilst Tiger Brands [JSE:TBS] continued to trade under pressure as it lost another 2.57%.

The JSE Top-40 Index eventually ended the day up 0.18%, whilst the broader All-Share Index only ended up 0.04%. The Industrials Index was unchanged whilst the Resources Index ended the day flat as it lost 0.04%. The Financials Index firmed by 0.52%.

Brent Crude came under pressure on Monday as it lost more than 1% to reach a session low of $64.62/barrel. The slide was on the back of concerns that global crude oil supplies would remain high given that new output was expected from the US. The commodity was trading at $64.68/barrel just after the close.

Gold traded softer on Monday despite the US dollar holding steady against major currency pairs. The precious metal reached a session low of $1 315.28/Oz before rebounding to trade at $1 319.43/Oz at 17:00 CAT.

Platinum also traded under pressure as it lost 0.7% to reach a session low of $957.05/Oz. The metal rebounded marginally to trade at $961.59/Oz just after the close. Palladium came under more significant pressure compared to platinum as it lost more than 1.4% to trade at $983.85/Oz just after the close.

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