JSE slips on weaker rand and trade fears
The JSE started the week on a negative note on Monday, with banks and platinums leading broad-based losses.
The all share fell 0.45% to 56,861.2 points and the top 40 lost 0.4%. Banks fell 2.09%, platinums 2.01% and food and drug retailers 1.07%.
Global markets were generally lower, due to continuing uncertainty regarding trade conflict. Over the weekend various Chinese state-controlled media outlets lashed out at US President Donald Trump, Reuters reported, having previously refrained from making personal attacks.
In a sign that disputes between the US and its trading partners were having a real effect, German manufacturing orders earlier showed a 4% drop month on month in June, well below market forecasts.
Domestic consumer goods orders contracted as well, suggesting that this uncertainty was reducing consumer confidence, said Barclays Research analysts.
The rand tracked a weaker euro, with banks faring worst. Absa led the losses, falling 2.98% to R166.16, despite earlier increasing its interim dividend for the six-months to end-June by 3% to R4.90. Headline earnings during the period declined 4%, largely due to a fee paid to Barclays in its recent divorce.
Some additional pressure for interest-rate sensitive shares also came from a rising oil price. Brent crude rose after two data releases showed declining production in Saudi Arabia in July.
Diversified miner Glencore lost 0.91% to R54.50, ahead of its interim results on Wednesday. The diversified miner said last week it expected full-year production to be largely in line with the guidance it gave at the beginning of its financial year.
ArcelorMittal jumped 17.18% to R4.98, extending gains made last week, when it provided details of its return to operational profitability.
FirstRand slipped 2.57% to R67, ahead of its results to end-June on Tuesday.
Merafe Resources surged 8.39% to R1.68 after earlier reporting a total dividend of R200m for the six months to end-June, a 165% increase from the prior comparative period.
Astral Foods fell 3.18% to R287.78.
Shortly after the JSE closed, the Dow had fallen 0.13% to 25,427.16 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 and CAC 40 were flat and the DAX 30 was down 0.13%.
At the same time, platinum had fallen 0.63% to $824.78 an ounce and gold 0.18% to $1,211.11. Brent crude had risen 1.34% to $74.31 a barrel.