Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

A firmer rand gave the JSE direction on Tuesday, with banks and retailers jumping as the local currency hit a two-and-a-half-year high against the dollar.

Locally focused stocks in general gained, with the JSE’s mid-cap and small-cap indices each up about 0.8%. Miners suffered, under additional pressure from softer prices for most commodities.

Local data were positive, with mining output growth accelerating to 6.5% in November, beating a Trading Economics forecast of 4.8%. Although a solid increase, the longer-term prospects for the industry remained less certain due to the difficult operating environment, said Nedbank Group Economic Unit analysts.

Market heavyweight Naspers also helped push the index into positive territory, gaining 2.34% to R3,684.39, in line with Chinese associate Tencent.

TFG, up 5.17% to R181, lifted the retail index after a trading update in which it reported 17.1% in turnover growth for the nine months to end-December.

The all share closed 0.68% higher at 60‚649.60 points and the blue-chip top 40 rose 0.65%. The local bourse is now 600 points shy of its record high.

Banks added 3.02%‚ property 2.42%‚ general retailers 2.26%‚ financials 2.05%, and industrials 1.29%. The gold index shed 3.75%‚ resources 2.3%, and platinums 2.09%.

Anglo American lost 2.97% to R292.94.

Sasol shed 1.81% to R451.04‚ as Brent crude lost 0.83% to $69.61 a barrel.

Richemont dropped 0.92% to R113.07 and Anheuser-Busch InBev 1.37% to R1‚424.65.

Gold Fields slumped 4.19% to R53.11.

Standard Bank rocketed 3.98% to R196‚ Barclays Africa 3.49% to R178, and FirstRand 2.59% to R63.09.

MMI Holdings surged 7.43% to R21.70‚ after it was announced that former Momentum MD Hillie Meyer would replace CEO Nicolaas Kruger. MMI lost 11% in 2017.

Shoprite gained 3.29% to R220‚ but Woolworths dropped 0.75% to R59.40.

Hyprop rose 1.73% to R113.80‚ Resilient 2.12% to R132.33, and Growthpoint 1.74% to R27.99.

The top-40 Alsi futures index closed 0.77% higher at 54‚276 points. The number of contracts traded was 12‚382 from Monday’s 10‚406.

At 5.40pm, the Dow was up 0.97% and the Nasdaq 0.9%, while European markets were mixed: the DAX 30 had gained 0.78% while the FTSE 100 had lost 0.21%.

At the same time platinum had gained 0.21% to $998.56 an ounce while gold had lost 0.36% to $1‚334.49. Brent crude was off 0.77% to $69.65 a barrel.

Please sign in or register to comment.