MARKET WRAP: JSE closes slightly up as strong opening fizzles out
Miners retreated on a weaker oil price as financials and retailers ended the day mixed, with the rand standing its ground despite a stronger greenback
The JSE all share closed slightly higher on Monday as the market pared earlier gains from Chinese markets, which recorded their best day in three years after last week’s sharp losses.
General retailers and industrials led the JSE at the close, while platinums and gold stocks were in the red.
The rand was steady at firmer levels against the dollar, despite a firmer greenback, trading at R14.2925 to the dollar from R14.4488. The euro was at $1.1476 from $1.1518.
Earlier, Chinese markets rallied for a second consecutive session on expected further stimulatory measures from the Chinese authorities.
The Dow was flat at the JSE’s close.
European stocks reversed modest gains, led earlier by Italian stocks after a downgrade from Moody’s Investors Service spared that country from a junk rating on its debt, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
“Nevertheless, risks remain, from tension surrounding the Khashoggi murder and the ongoing Sino-US trade showdown to Italian budget fears and President Trump’s unpredictability ahead of US midterm elections,” said Oanda analyst Dean Popplewell.
Risk-off sentiment affected the local market amid nervous trade ahead of Wednesday’s medium-term budget policy statement, which might reflect a further deterioration of the government’s fiscal position despite some positive signs that tax collections have improved.
Commodities came under pressure after Brent crude slipped below $80 a barrel for the second time in two weeks as supply concerns from the US eased after American drilling exercises reached the highest level since 2015.
However, it was likely that oil prices would pick up again in November once US sanctions against Iran’s crude exports came into effect, analysts said.
The all share closed 0.21% higher at 52,204.20 points and the top 40 gained 0.3%. General retailers rose 1.58%, industrials 1.15% and banks 0.12%. The gold index lost 2.42%, platinums 2.31%, resources 1.19% and property 0.87%.
Sasol closed 0.85% lower at R503.99.
Sibanye-Stillwater ended the day 5.92% lower at R10.49.
Standard Bank rose 0.92% to R162.96 but Absa slipped 1.68% to R144.18.
Woolworths recovered 1.8% to R48.53 and Truworths jumped 2.81% to R81.27.
Octodec slipped 0.10% to R20.25 after reporting a flat annual dividend.
Naspers rose 3.2% to R2,810.
Verimark closed 10.99% higher at R1.01. It announced plans on the day to delist.
Mondi lost 2.66% to R334.