JSE edges higher despite choppy rand, with gold miners faring best
The JSE pushed higher on Wednesday, shrugging off the rand’s recent slide against the dollar, while global markets were somewhat muted amid looming risk events.
Local data and corporate news were largely positive, but global factors were in the limelight, notably the US Federal Reserve monetary policy announcement at 8pm local time. Rising US bond yields would take the shine off emerging-market equities and bonds, which have in recent years found favour due to the relatively high yield they offer.
Retailers were lower, despite the high court earlier rejecting an appeal from the National Credit Regulator, instead finding in favour of Lewis Stores. The regulator was seeking to appeal a previous ruling that set aside the need for controversial income verification requirements when issuing store credit.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, trading ex-dividend, slumped 4.28% to R1,217.57, after rival Molson Coors disappointed the market with its results in the US. There were also reports earlier that Anheuser-Busch InBev was picking a patent fight with rival Heineken.
Gold miners were bolstered by news that a class-action lawsuit settlement, on behalf of mine workers suffering from occupational lung diseases, was expected to be signed out-of-court on Thursday.
The all share gained 0.34% to 58,450.4 points and the top 40 0.26%. Gold miners rose 4.54%, platinums 3.89% and resources 1.31%. The property index fell 0.92% and food and drug retailers 0.51%.
Kumba Iron Ore jumped 6.29% to R285.42 and African Rainbow Minerals 5.57% to R108.09.
Rand hedge Richemont gained 1.76% to R120.97.
Gold Field leapt 5.8% to R49.59 and Anglogold Ashanti 4.38% to R117.27.
Sibanye-Stillwater rose 3.83% to R11.40, ahead of a quarterly operations report expected on Thursday. The company said earlier it was still interested in acquiring embattled platinum miner Lonmin.
PSG gave up 1.16% to R222.39, after earlier announcing that founder and group chairman Jannie Mouton was facing health problems.
Naspers fell 1.53% to R3,012.74.
The Dow opened cautiously on Wednesday, ahead of the Fed announcement and after the dollar firmed slightly following the release of upbeat ADP jobs numbers earlier. The more closely watched nonfarm payrolls data is due on Friday. Positive corporate earnings reports have lifted global bourses.
Rising US treasury rates and the stronger dollar have recently been a key driver of volatility and repricing of risk assets.
Despite this a sustained global economic expansion continued to support corporate earnings growth, and the attractiveness of equities, said BlackRock global chief investment strategist Richard Turnill.
At 5.30pm the Dow was flat at 24,080.16 points, while in Europe, the DAX 30 had gained 1.47%, the FTSE 100 0.37% and the CAC 40 0.14%.
At the same time platinum had firmed 0.6% to $898.83 an ounce and gold 0.25% to $1,307.06. Brent crude had lost 1.04% to $72.53.
The top 40 Alsi futures index gained 0.26% to 51,960 points. The number of contracts traded was 21,083 from Monday’s 17,760.