JSE unmoved on Friday morning with likely Moody’s downgrade priced in
Banks have improved as the rand is staging a marginal recovery, while Naspers is supporting the overall market with a 1% gain
The JSE opened flat on Friday as a marginal recovery in the rand supported banks and retailers, and Naspers gained 1%.
Platinum stocks recovered on a higher metal price, which added 0.22% to $793.35 an ounce.
The rand was at R15.245 to the dollar from R15.3343 as the euro rebounded to $1.1640 after falling below $1.16 last week.
Indications that ratings agency Moody’s might downgrade SA after halving its 2018 growth forecast, appear to have been priced in at the rand’s current levels.
The local currency has lost R4 to the dollar from the high point of Ramaphoria at the end of February, when the rand touched R11.50.
The all share is down 4% in 2018.
The Dow closed flat on Thursday, and Asian markets trended lower to flat on Friday in anticipation of new tariffs on another $200bn of Chinese imports by Donald Trump’s administration.
"Investors can expect China to closely watch the impact from any new tariffs and adopt strong counter measures," Oanda analysts said.
Oanda said it was noticeable that Asian markets had been a sea of red in recent trade amid emerging-market worries. Investor confidence had been shaken by the likelihood of an escalation in the US-China trade war, they said.
The Nikkei 225 lost 0.8% and the Hang Seng 0.1%. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.4%.
At 9.50am the all share was up 0.01% to 57,137.80 points and the top 40 was flat. Platinums added 0.59%, banks 0.56%, general retailers 0.44% and industrials 0.4%. The gold index lost 1.49%, resources 0.96% and property 0.23%.
Anglo American lost 1.7% to R296.86 and BHP 1.67% to R303.89.
Bidvest climbed 2.19% to R201.84.
Sibanye-Stillwater shed 4.69% to R9.34.
FirstRand rose 0.89% to R67.95 as the market continues to react favourably to annual numbers reported on Thursday. FirstRand declared a R2.75 final dividend for the period to end-June, an 8% increase on the prior year’s R2.55.
Sanlam climbed 0.79% to R77.36 after reporting a 3% growth in net profit in the six months to end-June.
Shoprite lost 1.12% to R196.42 and Spar 0.67% to R197.09.
Echo Polska Properties rose 0.34% to R20.44. The group increased its distribution per share 12% to 5.82 euro cents for the six months to end-June,
MTN added 0.56% to R74.85.
Naspers rose 1.24% to R3,099.98.
Mondi was down 0.82% to R416.51.