Reuters
Reuters

The JSE fell sharply on Friday morning, under pressure from a spate of bad news, resulting in broad-based losses.

At 9.30am the all share had given up 1.64% to 53,179 points and the top 40 1.78%. Industrials were down 2.4%, banks 1.91% and general retailers 1.06%.

Naspers had fallen 3.92% to R2,686.56 in morning trade, under strain as Tencent fell sharply, amid a broader-based sell off of tech stocks.

The rand was also weaker, at about R14.20, after the US Federal Reserve Bank’s interest rate announcement on Thursday.

Although the Fed held the ceiling of its target range at 2.25% on Thursday evening, as expected, it said it would raise its interest rate by a further 25 basis points to take the upper limit to 2.5% in December.

Corporate news was also negative, with rand hedge Richemont down 4.5% to R98.75, after saying that headline earnings per share (HEPS) fell 2% to R2.58 in the six months ending September.

Risk appetite on global markets, given a lift earlier in the week by US midterm elections, had also ebbed on Friday morning.

Local data on Thursday had disappointed, with mining output contracting rather than growing in September, although analysts said SA had probably escaped recession in the third quarter.

Gold was down 0.29% to $1,219.94 an ounce and platinum 0.58% to $858.47. Brent crude was 0.14% lower at $70.74 a barrel.

Sasol gave up 1.5% to R479.49.

Gold Fields fell 2.13% to R39.03, amid continued problems at its South Deep mine.

FirstRand had lost 1.86% to R68.23, Standard Bank 1.41% to R172.55 and Absa 1.59% to R157.52.

Stefanutti Stocks jumped 6.25% to R3.40, extending Thursday's 7.02% rise, which had followed news it HEPS grew 46% in the six months to end-September.

Tiger Brands was down 2.2% to R273.93, after saying in a statement earlier HEPS was expected to decline by between 20% and 25% in the year to end-September.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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