JSE flat on subdued global trade and mixed local news
Local purchasing managers’ index data was downbeat, but news of a lower-than-expected fuel price increase in September improved sentiment a little
The JSE was little changed on Monday, with global markets subdued by a public holiday in the US where exchanges were closed. A fall by Naspers offset broad-based gains on the local bourse.
Local news was mixed, while there were few major corporate releases to give the market direction.
Asian markets started the week lower, with some risk-off sentiment after US President Donald Trump said at the weekend there was no need to keep Canada in the current trilateral trading bloc with Mexico.
Naspers fell 1.86% to R3,250, tracking losses in Chinese associate Tencent, in which it owns about 31%.
Volumes were thin, at R13bn, compared to the daily average of R24bn.
The all share firmed 0.07% to 58,711.2 points and the top 40 fell 0.05%. Platinums firmed 1.93%, general retailers 1.18% and gold miners 0.68%. Industrials fell 0.58%.
Local news was mixed, with the seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declining from a solid 51.5 index points in July to 43.4 in August.
"The fact that a further deterioration is expected from the bleak picture of current conditions, as reflected by the August PMI survey, is very concerning," Absa said.
Some good news came earlier as minister of energy Jeff Radebe approved an urgent temporary fuel price intervention, meaning the petrol price will rise by 5c in September, as opposed to an expected 25c to 27c increase. The price of all other fuels will remain at August’s levels. How the intervention will be paid for is still unclear.
Diversified miner BHP gained 1.65% to R320.21 and Anglo American 1.48% to R301.11.
Sasol fell 1.11% to R569.62, as a strike by trade union Solidarity gets underway.
Sun International jumped 7.1% to R57.30, after saying earlier profit for the six months to end-June grew to R137m from a loss of R58m in the corresponding period in 2017.
TFG firmed 2.55% to R179.04, after earlier reporting a solid 32% growth in turnover for the first 20 weeks of its financial year to end-March.
Steinhoff International fell 7.5% to R2.59, ahead of the appearance of its former CEO Markus Jooste before parliament on Wednesday.
Sasfin Holdings was unchanged at R35, despite saying earlier that headline earnings per share were expected to decrease by between 41.69% and 36.69% for the six months to end-June.
Stadio firmed 6.38% to R4.67, after saying earlier core headline earnings rose to R32m in the six months to end-June, from a loss of R3m a year ago.
Shortly after the JSE closed the FTSE 100 was up 1.03%, while the CAC 40 was flat. The DAX 30 had fallen 0.23%.
At the same time gold was flat at $1,201.27 an ounce while platinum had lost 0.27% to $786.10. Brent crude was 0.81% higher at $78.28 a barrel.