MARKET WRAP: JSE closes higher as property stocks recover some of the week’s losses
The JSE all share closed firmer on Friday as global miners and Naspers rose, while property stocks regained some lost ground following a volatile week for the sector.
Property stocks came under pressure on Wednesday following rumours that a JSE real estate investment trust (reit) may be the subject of a forthcoming report by Viceroy Research, which, in December, published a report that sent Steinhoff International shares down 90%.
The gold price reached its best level since September 2017, at $1,330.06 an ounce, while platinum was just shy of $1,000 an ounce, also last seen in September.
The local market found some support from buoyant global markets with the Dow up 0.63% on Friday shortly after the JSE’s close, as quarterly company earnings generally beat expectations.
The woes at Steinhoff showed little signs of abating. The troubled retailer was again down on the day, amid reports it was selling the 17% stake in online retailer Showroomprivé it acquired in May 2017 to French retailer Carrefour for half the €157.4m it originally paid.
The all share closed 0.8% higher at 60,083.10 points and the blue-chip top 40 added 0.89%. Resources rose 1.99%, property 0.9%, financials 0.67%, banks 0.61%, gold 0.48% and industrials 0.46%. Platinums shed 0.29% and food and drug retailers 0.07%.
The all share ended a choppy week up 0.61%.
Naspers gained 1.45% on the day, to R3,613.74, tracking an almost 3% rise in Hong Kong-listed Tencent.
Aspen Pharmacare fell 4.8% to R257.05, having surged 11% on Thursday when it recovered from rumours it was a target for a report into corporate governance, also by Viceroy. The company ended the week 4.44% lower.
Nepi Rockcastle was up 1.3% to R181.12, but was 11.17% lower for the week.
The rand had slipped about 1% against the euro and sterling by Friday afternoon, but was only slightly softer against the dollar, despite the greenback reaching a three-year low to the euro.
The rand was last seen at R12.4371 to the dollar from R12.3898, while the euro was at $1.2133 from $1.203.
Local bonds found some support from foreigners on Friday, but with little news on the domestic front, caution was expected to prevail, said Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking analysts.
The R186 was last bid at 8.57% from 8.6%.
The top-40 Alsi futures index gained 1.01% to 53‚848 points. The number of contracts traded was 12‚487 from Thursday’s 27‚456.