Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK
Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK

The JSE all share closed flat on Monday in low-volume trade, failing to hold on to earlier gains amid cautious market sentiment ahead of Wednesday’s medium-term budget policy statement.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is expected to reveal a disappointing budget with the deficit close to 4% of GDP as opposed to the 3.1% target projected in February’s main budget.

The weaker rand failed to boost industrials on the day but miners found some support despite softer commodity prices. Market heavyweight Naspers ended the day lower.

The all share closed 0.09% higher at 57,999.60 points and the blue-chip top 40 added 0.13%. Resources climbed 0.79% and general retailers 0.09%. Food and drug retailers shed 0.61%, property 0.17% and industrials 0.07%.

After making good gains earlier in the day banks closed flat.

Anglo American was the star performer among diversified miners, closing 2.34% higher at R261.83.

Rand hedge British American Tobacco rose 0.53% to R883.64, while Naspers lost 0.71% to R3,273.75.

Vodacom gained 1.37% to R156.70.

Efficient Group jumped 6.58% to R4.05, after saying earlier it expected headline earnings per share to increase by between 76.9% and 91.9% for the year to end-August.

Locally-listed stocks with exposure to the UK market were under renewed pressure as Brexit negotiations continue to weigh on these shares, which include Capital & Counties and Intu Properties, as well private equity group Brait. Brexit-battered stocks have been battling to recover despite a weaker rand environment.

Brait was down 2.19% to R52.72, Capital & Counties 1.9% to R46.39 and Intu 1.29% at R38.99.

The rand was at R13.7331 to the dollar from R13.6802, trading in a tight range for most of the day. Analysts expect the currency to remain under pressure this week, ahead of the closely watched budget speech as it will be a key determinant of ratings-agency decisions later this year.

Local bonds tracked the weaker rand with the benchmark R186 last bid at 8.85% from 8.825%. The US 10-year bond was at 2.3668% from 2.3848%.

The rand lost 1.2% on Friday on a stronger dollar, and rumours that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa would soon be replaced.

The top-40 Alsi futures index softened 0.08% to 52,200 points. The number of contracts traded was 16‚412 from Friday’s 19,861.

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