Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK
Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK

The JSE all share index opened marginally higher on Friday on platinum miners, and as Naspers rose on positive Asian tech stocks.

Steinhoff sank to new record lows.

The weaker rand supported miners, but banks and retailers were under early pressure.

Global markets were focused on US nonfarm payroll data set to be released later in the day. The pound firmed on news that the UK had reached a settlement with the European Union in that "sufficient progress" had been made to take negotiations further.

Naspers was up more than 2% after Chinese internet company Tencent, of which Naspers owned about a third, rose 3% in Hong Kong trade.

Some analysts say Tencent will reach more than double its present market value over the next few years as the group expands globally.

Retailer Steinhoff plummeted, as the market did not buy the more optimistic sentiment expressed earlier in the week that some of Steinhoff’s assets might be salvageable.

This came amid speculation that the Reserve Bank may put a lid on the rand repatriation of local Steinhoff assets to save its global operations.

On Thursday night, ratings agency Moody’s slashed Steinhoff’s credit score by four notches to a "highly speculative" junk rating.

"Given that allegations of accounting irregularities were raised and rebutted in August and again in November, it calls into question the quality of oversight and governance at Steinhoff," Moody’s said in its note.

At 9.31am on Friday Steinhoff was down 40% to R6 as executive chairman and retail tycoon Christo Wiese continued to struggle to stabilise the group. The former blue-chip retailer has now lost 90% this year.

Wiese’s other interests remained under pressure, although Steinhoff Retail Africa seemed to be forming a platform at lower levels. It was down 0.24% at R16.96.

Brait lost 7.95% to R36.84, KAP Holdings 0.25% to R8 and Tradehold 0.13% to R14.98. According to reports, Wiese’s net worth of $5.1bn in March has now dropped to about $1bn.

PSG, in which Steinhoff holds 20%, was down 5.81% to R252.89.

The JSE’s all share index rose 0.24% to 58,151.9 points and the blue-chip top 40 gained 0.39%. The platinum index rose 2.48%, resources 0.67% and industrials 0.38%.

Food and drug retailers shed 0.95%, financials 0.46% and banks 0.4%.

Anglo American was up 1.32% to R250.87.

Impala Platinum rose 4.47% to R33.43.

Naspers rose 2.48% to R3,619.58.

Taste Holdings shed 3.8% to 76c.

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