Picture SUNDAY TIMES/MOEKETSI MOTICOE
Picture SUNDAY TIMES/MOEKETSI MOTICOE

The JSE closed firmer on Friday, ending a week of gains, as retailers and banks were buoyed by the firmer rand and resources rebounded after the government backtracked on the implementation of the controversial 2017 Mining Charter.

The all share closed higher on all five days of the week, for the first time since the week ended April 28, as a stronger rand supported interest-rate sensitive sectors such as banks and retailers, while losses among miners were capped by firmer commodity prices.

Industrials were buoyed by Naspers, with rand hedges suffering an indifferent week.

The government’s backtracking on the Mining Charter was confirmed by a statement from the Chamber of Mines, saying that Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane had given a written undertaking not to implement or apply the provisions of the 2017 reviewed Mining Charter, pending judgment in the urgent interdict application brought by the chamber.

"The minister has furthermore undertaken that, in the event of any breach of the above undertaking, the chamber can set the urgent interdict application down for hearing on 48 hours’ notice to the minister," the chamber said in a statement.

The rand firmed more than 1% against the dollar on Friday, as disappointing US inflation data caused the dollar to lose ground and US treasury yields to fall in risk-on trade, which benefited emerging markets.

The US consumer price index (CPI) remained unchanged at 1.6% in June. Weaker-than-expected US retail sales data further fuelled the risk-on sentiment. Retail sales dropped 0.2% in June from an expected increase of 0.1%, adding to jitters that subdued US economic growth might not be able to accommodate further interest-rate increases.

Hitting and surpassing inflation targets was critical if central banks wanted to be ready for the next crisis, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said in an note. "If a crisis emerged in the next years, none of the major central banks would have adequate policy ammunition to deal with it."

The rand was on the front foot for the whole week after US Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen earlier indicated in her testimony to Congress that interest rates need not rise much more from present levels. The implied greater liquidity boosted world equity markets.

The Dow Jones was up a slight 0.09% at the JSE’s close with European markets drifting lower. The FTSE 100 had lost 0.44% and the DAX 30 0.16%.

Platinum gained 1.52% to $918 an ounce and gold 0.95% to $1,228.

The all share closed 0.56% higher at 53,598 points and the blue-chip top 40 added 0.54%. General retailers rose 2.08%, banks 0.91%, resources 0.61%, industrials 0.55%, food and drug retailers 0.54%, financials 0.53%, platinums 0.51% and property 0.46%.

The all share ended the week 3.27% higher, the best weekly performance for 2017. The index has gained 5.81% so far this year.

Diversified miner Anglo American gained 2.38% to R192.36, while petrochemical group Sasol added 1.25% to R378.75.

Kumba Iron Ore shed 0.82% to R172.08. The group said in an earlier trading update that headline earnings per share to end-June were expected to rise by between 46% and 58%.

British American Tobacco ended the day 0.85% lower at R898.

AngloGold Ashanti was down 2.02% to R128.75.

Nedbank rose 3.31% to R218.50, Standard Bank 0.40% to R152.30 and FirstRand 0.89% to R50.08.

Woolworths was up 1.52% to R60.77, Shoprite 1.34% to R204 and Mr Price 4.13% to R168.

Resilient REIT was up 0.73% to R127.80.

Vodacom gained 1.01% to R172.21.

Naspers rose 0.97% to R2,712.

Taste Holdings shed a further 2.10% to R1.40. The franchise holder of Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza has lost 30.2% so far this year.

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