Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE started the week on a slightly firmer note on Monday as Naspers rebounded toward the close, supported by property and mining stocks.

Heavyweights in the property sector, including Nepi Rockcastle and Growthpoint, lifted the sector, which has been the worst performer among the main indices so far this year, having lost 17.5%.

The focus was on a number of company results — ranging from Lonmin and Astral to Sappi and Vodacom — with their mixed performances failing to lift the overall market.

The Dow was 0.48% higher at the JSE’s close, while European markets trended lower on a firmer euro.

Bourses around the world had recovered in recent sessions after a turbulent start to the year, amid a number of solid corporate-earnings results and bets that inflation was not rising at a pace that would force the Federal Reserve to accelerate its pace of interest-rate increases, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

US stocks registered their biggest one-week gain since March last week, it said.

The market is eyeing US retail sales data on Tuesday, while domestic data for the same sector is due on Wednesday. Better-than-expected local numbers could boost the rand on the prospect of stronger GDP growth in 2018.

The all share closed 0.33% higher at 58,614.50 points and the top 40 gained 0.34%. Property was up 0.8%, resources 0.63% and industrials 0.43%. General retailers dropped 0.75%, financials 0.15% and banks 0.13%.

Lonmin jumped 6.84% to R8.59. It earlier reported interim revenue of $561m, up 15.4%.

Poultry producer Astral plunged 5% to R292.60. Revenue for the six months to end-March rose 15%, but operating profit rocketed from R212m to R1.044bn.

Netcare was 0.34% lower at R29.65 after reporting an 8.1% increase in normalised group earnings before tax, interest and depreciation (ebitda) to R2.08bn for the six months to end-March.

Naspers closed 0.88% higher at R3,227.21.

Growthpoint was up 1.06% to R28.69 and Nepi Rockcastle 1.52% to R133.32.

The rand had edged slightly softer by the JSE’s close, after hitting R12.1804 to the dollar earlier in the day, weakening to R12.2822, from R12.2617 previously.

Local bonds were marginally firmer with the yield on the benchmark R186 government bond at 8.325% from 8.335%. The US 10-year was at 2.9933% from 2.9613%.

The top 40 Alsi futures index gained 0.1% to 52,300 points. The number of contracts traded was 13,039 from Friday’s 19,330.

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