The JSE. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS
The JSE. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

The JSE edged higher on Friday, lifted by a strong performance from rand hedges, although banks and retailers were under pressure from rand weakness.

The week was volatile, with the local bourse losing 1.83%, its worst performance since March.

The rand breached R15 to the dollar on Friday before paring losses, but remained under some strain after the EFF introduced a bill calling for the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank.

The all share gained 0.15% to 56,647.5 points, and the top 40 0.19%. Platinum miners firmed 1.22% and industrials 0.28%. Gold miners lost 1.59% and banks 1.41%.

Global stocks were subdued, with the focus on disappointing earnings, and further strain on the Turkish lira taking the edge off sentiment, reported Dow Jones Newswires. Focus in the coming week is likely to remain on Turkey and US-China trade relations. Officials from the two countries are set to meet during the course of the week, news of which recently provided some support for risk assets.

Local economic focus next week will be on Wednesday, when inflation data for July is due. A Trading Economics consensus is for inflation to have accelerated slightly to 4.8% year on year, from June’s 4.6%.

FNB chief economist Mamello Matikinca, who forecast a 5% increase in July, said on Friday that even if inflation rises there is scope for the Reserve Bank to keep interest rates on hold, due to weak economic growth.

Sasol gained 1.32% to R528.50, ahead of its results to end-June being released on Monday. It said in July that it expected to report a strong performance, although headline earnings per share (HEPS) were expected to decrease by between 1% and 11% compared to the prior period.

Rand hedge British American Tobacco firmed 1.84% to R788.21 and AB InBev 1.62% to R1,467.

Naspers gained 1.08% to R3,180.

Shoprite gave up 0.53% to R210.76, ahead of its results to end-June being released on Monday. It said in July that it expected to report that group turnover increased 3.6% during the period, a result weighed down by hyperinflation in Angola.

At 5.30pm, the Dow was up 0.12% at 25,590.52 points, while in Europe the FTSE 100 had lost 0.23%, the CAC 40 0.28% and the DAX 30 0.43%.

At the same time, gold was up 0.43% to $1,178.99 an ounce while platinum was flat at $782.24. Brent crude was 0.68% higher at $71.85.

The top 40 Alsi futures index gained 0.55% to 50,705 points. The index lost 1.38% in the week. The number of contracts traded on Friday was 22,487 from Thursday’s 25,488.

Please sign in or register to comment.