Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The JSE ended Thursday’s session by losing just 0.2 points, despite markets reacting to an earlier decision by the Reserve Bank to leave the repo rate unchanged at 6.75%, and a mildly hawkish US Federal Reserve policy statement on Wednesday.

After a two-hour delay due to technical problems, about R53bn was traded on the JSE, more than twice the usual daily amount.

Gold miners slumped more than 5% as the price of the precious metal extended Wednesday’s losses, when the US Fed indicated it would begin reducing its balance sheet in October. Gold is seen as a hedge against loose monetary policy.

On Thursday, the Reserve Bank left rates on hold despite market expectations of a cut of 25 basis points, with the bank index and retailers dropping sharply after the announcement.

Capital Economics analysts said that given the recent slowing of inflation, the weak state of SA’s domestic economy, and the divided nature of the monetary policy committee, the decision to leave rates on hold represented only a brief pause in the country’s loosening cycle.

The all share closed almost flat at 55,867.30 points and the blue-chip top 40 lost 0.05%.

The gold index shed 4.80%, general retailers 1.99%, banks 1.6%, and financials 0.43%. Property added 1.39%, the platinum index 0.37%, and resources 0.20%.

Anglo American gained 3.02% to R239 after Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal indicated he was set to increase his already large shareholding in the diversified miner.

British American Tobacco dropped 1.36% to R818.86.

Harmony Gold plummeted 8.31% to R23.84 and Sibanye 5.47% to R15.22.

Barclays Africa fell 2.02% to R138.49‚ Standard Bank 1.85% to R160.39 and FirstRand 1.82% to R53.43. Capitec bucked the trend‚ closing 1.69% higher at a record R913.

Among financials, MMI Holdings shed 3.02% to R18.60‚ Liberty Holdings 1.14% to R103.54, and Discovery 0.34% to R144.32.

In the property sector, Growthpoint rose 1.83% to R25.10‚ Resilient 1.74% to R135, and Redefine 1.67% to R10.97.

Ascendis Health rose 3.78% to R20.34.

Spur jumped 6.2% to R31.

At 5.40pm, the Dow was off 0.07%, the FTSE 100 had lost 0.02% while the CAC 40 had gained 0.55% and the DAX 30 0.3%.

At the same time, gold was 0.61% lower at $1‚292.79 an ounce and platinum 0.14% at $937.64.

The top-40 Alsi futures index added 0.11% to 49‚605 points. The number of contracts traded was 8‚588 from Thursday’s 103‚925, on the third-quarter futures close-out.

With Maarten Mittner

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