Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The rand firmed through R14 to the dollar on Tuesday evening, to R13.9787, on the news that Robert Mugabe had resigned as Zimbabwe’s president. The news was given to the Zimbabwean parliament amid a debate on his impeachment.

The JSE all share closed higher for the second consecutive session as Naspers continued its rally, while banks and miners ended the day in positive territory.

Market sentiment on the JSE was upbeat as Moody’s and S&P Global Ratings prepared to announce results of their latest reviews on SA’s debt rating on Friday evening. Analysts said there was a chance that the two ratings agencies may announce a further delay in downgrading SA’s local debt to junk, preferring to wait until after the ANC’s elective conference in December and the budget in February.

Naspers reached an intra-day high of R4,142.99, before paring some of its gains to R4,090, still 2.38% higher on the day. The share has gained 103% so far this year, and is trading at a historical price to earnings ratio of 160 times.

Big diversified miners were well supported, after a few days of apparent consolidation, complementing the industrial index, which hit a record high, thanks to Naspers.

The all share ended the day 1.18% higher at 61,211.50 points, and the blue-chip top 40 added 1.36%. Volumes were relatively high at R30bn, compared to an average day’s R20bn.

Resources rose 2.2%, platinums 1.46% and the gold index 1%. Industrials and banks were both 1.06% higher. General retailers shed 1.62%, and food and drug retailers 0.41%.

Sasol gained 2.26% to R428.63, while Brent crude was 0.84% higher at $62.64 a barrel soon after the JSE’s close.

British American Tobacco rose 1.5% to R937.85.

FirstRand gained 1.88% to R55.36 and Barclays Africa 1.35% to R150. Capitec ended the day 1.16% higher, at a record R993.92, after touching R1,000 in intra-day trade.

Massmart shed 4.53% to R107.05 and Woolworths 2.13% to R54.30.

The rand was range bound for most of the day, trading between R14 and R14.14 to the dollar, prior to the news about Mugabe.

The local bond market was weaker, but off its intra-day worst levels, with the R186 last bid at 9.44% from 9.39%.

The top-40 Alsi futures index gained 1.63% to a record 55,528 points. The number of contracts traded was 24,527 from Monday’s 20,845.

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