Asia exerts downward pull, on busy day for JSE watchers
Thursday is a busy day for JSE watchers, with results from Standard Bank, Truworths, Gold Fields, Exxaro, Adapt IT, City Lodge Hotels, and Freedom Property Fund.
Asian markets indicated the JSE is likely to suffer its third trading day of losses, with mainland China’s Shanghai composite index down 0.87%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index down 0.61%, Tokyo’s Topix down 0.67%, and Sydney’s ASX 200 down 0.11%.
Tencent was down 2.92% to HK$326.20 in Hong Kong, indicating its 31%-owner Naspers’s 8.2% plunge to R3,060.88 on Wednesday was an overreaction.
Tencent released its results after the Hong Kong stock exchange closed on Wednesday, causing Naspers to suffer a knee-jerk reaction to the 2% decline in net profit its Chinese internet associate reported.
The rand, which weakened to R14.74 to the dollar on Wednesday, had recovered back to R14.45 to the dollar, R16.45 to the euro and R18.38 to the pound by 6.20am on Thursday morning.
Standard Bank has not issued a trading statement, indicating its earnings will be within 20% of the prior interim period’s.
The bank’s 55%-owned insurance group, Liberty, reported on August 2 it was maintaining its interim dividend at R2.76.
On August 6, Absa reported its diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) declined by 4% to 877.8c for the six months to end-June.
Absa blamed this on changes to accounting standards, saying its HEPS would have grown slightly under the old rules, and it raised its interim dividend by 3% to R4.90.
Nedbank reported on August 7 its diluted HEPS grew 26.3% to R13.61 in the first half of its 2018 financial year compared with the matching period in 2017. It raised its interim dividend by 14% to R6.95.
Fashion chain Truworths warned shareholders on July 20 it expected to report on Thursday its HEPS for its 2018 financial year declined by up to 9%.
Retailers report in weeks rather than months, and Truworths’ 2018 financial year is cast in an unflattering light by comparing 52 weeks to 53 weeks in its 2017 financial year.
Truworths said the extra week in the comparative period translated into its overall sales declining by 2.7% to R18bn from R18.5bn.
Gold Fields warned shareholders on August 8 it expected to report on Thursday a decline of more than 20% in HEPS for the six months to end-June.
Exxaro said on August 8 it expected to report on Thursday its interim HEPS grew by up to 44%.
The mining group said the jump in HEPS was mainly due to it reducing its number of shares in issue as part of its replacement empowerment scheme.
Exxaro said its coal business benefited from higher selling prices and volumes.
Other companies that have diarised results releases on Thursday include Adapt IT, City Lodge Hotels, and Freedom Property.
Statistics SA is scheduled to release June’s civil cases for debt figures at 9am, wholesale trade sales at 10am, motor trade sales at 11.30am, and building statistics at 1pm.