Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE closed lower on Wednesday, continuing to hover at a two-month low and on track for its worst monthly performance this year.

Rand hedges, including heavyweight Naspers fell, with the latter de-coupling from share price movements in its Chinese associate Tencent.

Volumes on the local bourse were much higher than usual, at R37bn compared to the usual daily average of R20bn.

Banks and financial stocks were given a boost by slightly better-than-expected inflation data, however, retail sales disappointed, putting pressure on stocks in that sector. Steinhoff’s recent rally also stalled.

Disappointing sales data in October could be as a result of consumers deferring purchases to take advantage of Black Friday deals, said Investec economist Kamilla Kaplan.

While headlines in SA were firmly focused on political considerations, most recent activity data suggested the economy was accelerating during the fourth quarter, Capital Economics analysts said. This supported a view that "SA’s long-suffering economy will outperform expectations going into 2018".

The all share lost 0.31% to 57‚344.40 points and the blue-chip top 40 0.3%. The platinum index fell 2.33%‚ the gold index 1.71%‚ industrials 0.56%‚ resources 0.48%, and general retailers 0.45%. Banks added 1.09% and financials 0.43%.

Naspers dipped 0.59% to R3,479.39.

Steinhoff lost 16.67% to R9.80 and Steinhoff Africa Retail 0.44% to R15.75.

PSG closed 1.58% lower at R238.47‚ extending losses in the month to 17.75%‚ on speculation that Steinhoff might sell its 25% stake in the group.

British American Tobacco dropped 1.07% to R909.

AngloGold Ashanti shed 2.12% to R121.37.

Impala Platinum lost 4.61% to R29‚ Northam 2.94% to R43.92 and Anglo American Platinum 1.98% to R339.66. Lonmin jumped 12.01% to R12.50.

Standard Bank rose 1.56% to R170.19.

Technology group EOH gained 12.81% to R55.29 after it was announced former CEO Asher Bohbot would return to the business in an executive role.

Sappi relinquished 1.71% to R95.33.

At 5.40pm, the Dow had added 0.33% and the Nasdaq 0.35%. In Europe‚ the CAC 40 was off 0.56% while the FTSE 100 was flat.

At the same time platinum had lost 0.65% to $875.03 an ounce while gold was flat at $1‚244.49. Brent crude was off 0.8% to $63.28.

The top-40 Alsi futures index fell 0.17% to 51‚382 points. The number of contracts traded was 24‚229 from Tuesday’s 22‚083.

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