People walk near the reception at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton, Johannesburg. Picture: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS
People walk near the reception at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton, Johannesburg. Picture: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS

The JSE opened lower on Monday as trade war concerns and a weaker opening by Naspers, following mixed annual results, weighed on the market.

After jumping 3% on Friday on the numbers to end-March, Naspers opened more than 1.5% down as it reacted to a softer performance from Chinese internet and gaming company Tencent.

Tencent, of which Naspers owns 31.2%, lost 1.66% in Asian trade.

Naspers is still heavily reliant on Tencent’s performance amid reports that an MSCI index fund might sell some of its holdings in Naspers due to issues relating to the group’s convoluted holding structure.

According to the structure, non-listed A-shareholders have the majority voting rights in Naspers. Ordinary shareholders are permitted to trade only in its N-shares, resulting in a huge discount to the group’s real value.

Naspers is a major constituent of the MSCI emerging-markets index.

"Asian markets were weaker this morning, tracking lower US futures as global trade tensions remained in play with President Donald Trump now threatening European car makers," Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking analysts said.

Brent crude lost 1.47% to $74.66 a barrel following Friday’s agreement between oil cartel Opec and non-Opec members to increase global oil production.

The Dow closed 0.49% higher on Friday, ending the week 2.03% lower. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.79% and the Hang Seng 1.36%.

At 10.04am the all share was 0.79% lower at 56,404.90 points and the top 40 lost 0.85%. The platinum index dropped 1.58%, resources 1.13%, industrials 0.98% and gold 0.65%. Food and drug retailers rose 0.17%.

Anglo American was down 1.99% to R297.15.

Brait dropped 3.96% to R40.53.

Impala Platinum shed 2.13% to R20.67.

Quilter listed at the opening, trading between R27.85 and R27.90. South African institutions subscribing for shares in Old Mutual’s former UK arm would pay R25.88 per share, the insurance group said on Monday.

Trade in Old Mutual itself will commence on Tuesday.

Woolworths rose 0.59% to R54.47, but Steinhoff Africa Retail slipped 1.13% to R17.50.

Nepi Rockcastle rose 0.76% to R121.03.

Naspers was down 1.81% to R3,247.49

Companies affected by the government’s new National Health Insurance Scheme (NHI) were generally lower. Discovery lost 0.96% to R149.05 and Mediclinic 1.42% to R95.65.

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