MARKET WRAP: JSE closes weaker as banks retreat
The JSE closed lower on Friday, with banks remaining under pressure in the wake of the announcement earlier in the week by the Competition Commission that it would prosecute 17 local and international banks for collusion and price fixing in the foreign exchange market.
General retailers and platinums staged a strong comeback towards the close, but too late to turn the market around.
Trading was thin ahead of the US long weekend, with markets there closed for President’s day on Monday.
Local market focus is starting to shift to the budget on February 22.
The all share closed 0.69% lower at 52,223.50 points and the blue-chip top 40 shed 0.90%. Banks dropped 1.26%, resources 0.88% and financials 0.77%. Platinums firmed 1.21%. After being down nearly 1% in early morning trade, general retailers recovered to close 0.76% higher.
The all share lost 0.88% in the week but is still up 3.1% in 2017.
BHP Billiton closed 1.57% lower at R225.45 while Kumba Iron Ore gained 2.69% to R215.35.
Gold Fields lost 1.87% to R44.16.
Anglo American Platinum jumped 4.53% to R327.59 and Northam 3.66% to R53.50.
Standard Bank led the losses in the big four banks, closing 1.33% lower at R146.35. Barclays Africa gave up 1.28% to R160.89, FirstRand 1.11% to R51.90 and Investec 1.34% to R94.88.
In financials Old Mutual lost 1.27% to R34.90 and Sanlam 2.11% to R67.25.
Truworths leapt 5.66% to R89. On Thursday afternoon it reported unchanged sales for the for the 26 weeks ended December 25.
Woolworths was down 1.3% to R69.58 after reporting disappointing interim results on Thursday.
Shoprite relinquished 2.04% to R173.05 and Steinhoff 1.37% to R66.80.
The rand came off 18-month highs on Friday, as a rally that characterised its performance for much of the past week lost some momentum. At 5.52pm, it was at R13.07 to the dollar from a previous close of R13.02.
Local bonds were also weaker, with the benchmark government R186 bond bid at 8.69% in late trade from 8.61% on Thursday.
Futures were lower in line with the JSE. The local near-dated top-40 Alsi futures index ended down 0.99% to 45,130 points with 24,030 contracts traded from Thursday’s 24,258.