MARKET WRAP: JSE closes weaker as platinum stocks shine and industrials retreat
The JSE all share closed weaker on Monday, as rising platinum shares could not offset broad-based losses in the wider market, led by industrials.
Volumes traded at R13bn on the day —much lower than last week, when the market surged on the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as president.
Platinums were supported by a firmer metal price, up 0.22% to $1.009.51/oz at the close, as well as positive annual results from Anglo American Platinum. The platinum producer announced the declaration of a dividend to long-suffering shareholders, the first in six years.
Retreating property stocks came back from weaker levels to end the day flat. Financials were also flat, despite belated gains by some companies toward the close, led by Old Mutual.
Market focus was on Wednesday’s budget speech. Despite rumours of a cabinet reshuffle, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is still expected to deliver the budget on Wednesday.
Greater fiscal prudence could stave of a further downgrade announcement by ratings agency Moody’s in March.
The all share closed 0.71% lower at 58.701.40 points and the top 40 lost 0.75%. Industrials lost 1.24%, the gold index 0.87%, food and drug retailers 0.5% and general retailers 0.4%. The platinum index gained 1.61%.
Kumba Iron Ore lost 2.22% to R324.78 and Exxaro 2.01% to R146.99. Anglo American Platinum gained 2.69% to R353.53.
Naspers fell 2.52% to R3,300.
Private school group Curro relinquished 6.66% to R36.15, after earlier saying HEPS for the year to end-December grew 10% to 48.1%, although the headline loss contributed by subsidiary Meridian doubled to 7.6c from 3.2c.
The rand was at R11.68 to the dollar from R11.5999, as the dollar showed little movement on the day. The closure of US and Chinese markets kept most market players on the sidelines, with the dollar showing little movement against the euro.
Local bonds were firmer, with the R186 bid at 8.09% from 8.11%.
This followed the possibility of a budget on Wednesday that reflected renewed fiscal consolidation after Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address on Friday.
In his address, Ramaphosa emphasised public-sector service delivery. The President will visit all national departments to engage with senior leadership, creating an environment for greater fiscal consolidation.
The top-40 Alsi futures index lost 0.78% to 51‚700 points. The number of contracts traded was 12‚909 from Friday’s 20‚705.