Seeking a listing: Before it can join the JSE, Nova Properties must deal with resistance from debenture holders, who allege its directors awarded themselves a hefty stake by sleight of hand. Picture: REUTERS
Seeking a listing: Before it can join the JSE, Nova Properties must deal with resistance from debenture holders, who allege its directors awarded themselves a hefty stake by sleight of hand. Picture: REUTERS

The JSE closed little changed on Friday, but was positive for the week, with most indices spending the day either a little lower or flat.

A last-minute jump by Naspers helped offset earlier losses, while retailers firmed, ending what was a mostly positive five sessions for the sector.

Food and drug retailers gained 4.22% for the week, bolstered by upbeat retails sales and inflation data, as well as positive earnings reports from Clicks and Pick n Pay.

On Friday, miners led the losses, registering a poor week, as the oil price came off multiyear highs.

In general, in the absence of major data releases, focus shifted to economic fundamentals during the week, analysts said. US corporate earnings season gave the market much of its direction, with the Dow opening lower on Friday, as tech stocks came under renewed selling pressure.

The US financial sector had already beaten expectations, but "the question now is whether other sectors can live up to or surpass the hefty expectations", Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said.

The all share added 0.1% to 57,581.7 points and the top lifted 40 0.07%. General retailers gained 0.69%, industrials 0.38% and food and drug retailers 0.33%.

Resources lost 0.43%, platinums 0.33% and gold miners 0.29%.

The all share firmed 1.8% for the week.

Among individual shares on the day, Sasol gave up 2.26% to R429.97.

British American Tobacco recovered 1.17% to R626.25, having fallen 7% on Thursday in sympathy with US rival Philip Morris, which released disappointing results.

Massmart gained 2.46% to R168.03 and Truworths 1.47% to R103.91.

Clicks rose 2.57% to R205.65 and Pick n Pay 1.33% to R76.

Cashbuild gained 4.78% to R452.66.

At 5.30pm the Dow was down 0.92% to 24,438.8 points, while in Europe the DAX 30 was off 0.35%. The FTSE 100 had gained 0.39% and the CAC 40 0.15%.

At the same time, platinum had lost 0.64% to $930.14 an ounce and gold 0.5% to $1,338.79. Brent crude was flat at $73.52 a barrel.

The rand was softer against major global currencies on Friday afternoon, but had held relatively steady for the week. Shortly after the JSE closed it was at R12.0853 to the dollar from R11.9579.

Local bonds tracked the weaker rand, with the R186 last bid at 8.04% from 7.99% and the R207 at 6.925% from 6.885%.

The top 40 Alsi futures index was flat at 51,180 points. The index gained 1.5% for the week. The number of contracts traded was 13,689 from Thursday’s 24,085.

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