Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE was softer in thin volumes on Monday, with a weaker rand giving the local bourse much of its direction.

Daily turnover was R10.8bn compared to the daily average of about R24bn.

The rand was weaker than the psychologically important R13/$ level, with markets seemingly brushing off the fallout from the Group of Seven (G-7) summit at the weekend, where US President Donald Trump left early.

Banks were lower on the day, as were small-and medium-cap companies. These companies are primarily dependent on economic conditions in SA.

Rand hedges were buoyant, however, as was market heavyweight Naspers.

The rand faces significant risks this week, with monetary policy updates from both the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank expected.

A meeting on Tuesday between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un also has the potential to rattle markets.

The local corporate results calendar is somewhat light in comparison, with some analysts expressing concern that real dividends declared were outpacing earnings reports.

The growth in reported JSE all share index earnings per share appears to have peaked, with the year-on-year growth in earnings having fallen back from the 30% rate realised in late 2017, to the current rate of 10% realised by the May 2018 month end, said Investec Wealth and Management chief economist Brian Kantor. Despite this, it would appear local stocks as a whole were slightly undervalued.

The all share fell 0.13% to 58,146.1 points and the top 40 was down 0.09%. Platinums fell 0.92% and banks 0.76%.

Rand hedge Anheuser-Busch InBev gained 2.73% to R1,270.85, British American Tobacco 1.98% to R656.42 and Richemont 0.55% to R123.25.

Capitec lost 2.05% to R865.95.

Alexander Forbes slumped 5.76% to R5.73 after earlier reporting a 5% increase in its full-year dividend to end-March, to 42c per share.

Shortly after the JSE closed the Dow was flat at 25,318.53 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 had risen 0.66%, the DAX 30 0.41% and the CAC 40 0.4%.

At the same time gold was flat at $1,300.14 an ounce, while platinum was 0.18% lower at $905.64. Brent crude had given up 0.63% to $75.88, under pressure after reports that Russia had stepped up production ahead of a key Opec meeting later this month.

The top 40 Alsi futures index rose 0.18% to 51,988 points. The number of contracts was 14,497 from Friday’s 25,464.