JSE opens lower as Naspers drags down market
The JSE opened weaker on Thursday following Human Rights Day on Wednesday, as upbeat trade in miners and banks were offset by a sharp fall in Naspers.
Naspers plummeted more than 5% in early trade, after Chinese internet company Tencent, of which Naspers owns about a third, missed its fourth-quarter revenue targets.
Tencent on Wednesday reported a 98% rise in quarterly net profit to end-December, beating estimates. But revenues rose a slower than expected 51%.
The market showed little reaction to the US Federal Reserve’s increase in interest rates to 1.75% on Wednesday. However, a less hawkish outlook from the Fed tripped the dollar.
"Fed policy makers reiterated a total of three interest rate increases this year, and comments were made regarding steeper hikes over the next two years," analysts at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) said.
The rand gained in response ahead of Moody’s credit rating review on Friday. Analysts are cautiously optimistic that Moody’s will not announce a downgrade to junk, following February’s budget and steps taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration. This includes the suspension of South African Revenue Service (SARS) head Tom Moyane.
The Dow closed 0.18%, while Asian markets were mixed on Thursday. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.99% and the Hang Seng dropped 0.74%.
At 9.33am the all share dropped 0.46% to 58,023.50 points and the top 40 shed 0.66%. Industrials dropped 1.74%, food and drug retailers 0.28% and property 0.22%. Resources rose 1.86%, the platinum index 1.64%, the gold index 1.23%, general retailers 0.99% and banks 0.75%.
Sasol rebounded 3.33% to R416.99 on a weaker rand and lower oil price. Brent crude slipped 0.52% to $69.37 a barrel.
British American Tobacco dropped 4.02% to R643.
Gold producer DRDGold jumped 5.67% to R3.17. Anglo American Platinum gained 1.86% to R346.32.
Steinhoff dropped 5.07% to R3.37 on indications the group is in no hurry to sell its stake in Steinhoff African Retail, which it needs to do to save the company. Steinhoff African Retail slipped 0.19% to R21.
Vodacom rose 1.17% to R159.85.
Naspers shed 5.03% to R3,285.