PIcture: ISTOCK
PIcture: ISTOCK

A positive mood on global markets failed to lift the JSE on Thursday, with a fall by retailers and Naspers largely responsible.

Global equities were in favour after US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell delivered a dovish speech, which put strain on the dollar, but lifted risk assets.

The all share fell 0.3% to 51,737.6 points and the top 40 0.21%. Industrials lost 0.8% and general retailers 0.64%. Banks added 1.22%, gold miners 1.53% and property stocks 1.83%.

Naspers lost 2.57% to R2,820, ahead of its interim results to end-September on Friday. The group has said it expects headline earnings per share (HEPS) to rise by between 210% and 217% when compared to those of last year.

Local data was downbeat, with factory- and farm-gate inflation, as measured by the annual change in the producer price index (PPI), accelerating faster than expected in October due to record-high fuel prices. The PPI for final manufactured goods came in at 6.9% from September's 6.2%. The Bloomberg consensus forecast was for a rise of 6.3%.

Though mounting price pressures are evident at the producer level, a weak demand environment has hindered the transfer of costs further down the supply chain, said Investec economist Lara Hodes.

Growth in private-sector credit extension also moderated to 5.8% year on year in October from 6.3% in September, as a result of a slowdown in the rate of corporate credit growth.

Rand hedge Richemont lost 1.3% to R90.80.

Nepi Rockcastle recovered 11.72% to R110.76, having lost 14% on Wednesday, when short-sellers Viceroy Research released a report questioning the veracity of Nepi's reported results. The property group responded on Thursday, saying the report was “grossly misleading” and had mixed up two accounting methods, among other criticisms.

Hammerson lost 8.84% to R68.30, having earlier reported it had completed the sale of its 50% stake in its UK-based shopping mall for £236m.

Lonmin added 1.12% to R8.10, after reporting platinum sales for the year to end-September exceeded expectations, with the group's cash position increasing to $114m from $103m in the prior period.

Sibanye-Stillwater added 1.14% to R8.85.

Kaap Agri gained 4.48% to R35, after upping its dividend 4.2% to 116.7c in the year to end-September. Revenue rose 2.1% during the period to R6.55bn.

Shortly after the JSE closed the Dow was 0.27% lower at 25,297.86 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 had gained 0.77%, the CAC 40 0.89% and the DAX 30 0.42%.

Gold was up 0.39% at $1,225.89 an ounce, while platinum had fallen 0.71% to $821.11. Brent crude was 1.34% higher at $59.81 a barrel.

The benchmark R186 government bond was bid at 8.905% from Wednesday's 9.03%. 

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za