MARKET WRAP: JSE ends upbeat week flat, while rand pulls back
The JSE all share was flat on Friday, but gained 1.38% for the week, as the bigger shares carried the day; companies with a predominantly local presence were sold off after recording gains earlier in the week.
Naspers was the main gainer among the bigger stocks, on the news that Google had concluded a licensing agreement with Chinese internet company Tencent, of which Naspers owns about a third.
Local shares, however, were sold off after a good run following the Reserve Bank’s decision to keep interest rates on hold on Thursday.
The all share closed 0.02% lower at 60,912.90 points while the blue-chip top 40 gained 0.09%. Banks dropped 2.51%, financials 1.41%, property 1.4%, general retailers 1.15%, and food and drug retailers 0.98%. Resources added 0.71%, industrials 0.4% and platinums 0.15%.
Standard Bank lost 2.75% to R194.50, Nedbank 3.06% to R259, and FirstRand 2.47% to R64.47.
Steinhoff rocketed 10.13% to R7.61, with Steinhoff Africa Retail rising 2.58% to R19.90, while Massmart slipped 2.84% to R140.40.
Resilient was down 1.48% to R123.88, Nepi Rockcastle 2.15% to R169.71 and Greenbay 6.67% to R1.96.
Naspers rose 1.58% to R3,717.81.
The rand reversed course on Friday afternoon, with the initial euphoria attached to the Reserve Bank’s decision to keep interest rates on hold appearing to fade.
The local currency earlier strengthened to R12.0654 to the dollar, which marked its best level in two-and-half years, before subsequently weakening. The rand was at R12.2123 to the dollar soon after the JSE’s close.
In keeping rates unchanged on Thursday, the monetary policy committee (MPC) stuck to its usual conservative approach, pointing to potential risks on the horizon that could negatively affect the outlook on inflation.
Bonds showed little movement with the R186 last bid at 8.49%.
Analysts say the next big catalyst to shake the market will be the budget, which Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is set to present on February 21. Shortly thereafter the result of a ratings review by Moody’s Investors Service is expected.
SA’s investment-grade debt rating hangs by a thread, after S&P Global Ratings and Fitch reduced the country to junk status in 2017.
The top-40 Alsi futures index gained 0.04% to 54‚500 points. The number of contracts traded was 11‚841 from Thursday’s 15‚684.
With Andries Mahlangu