Mine workers walk past the pit head at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Masimthembe shaft in Westonaria. Picture: REUTERS
Mine workers walk past the pit head at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Masimthembe shaft in Westonaria. Picture: REUTERS

The JSE managed to rise on Friday morning, swimming against a tide that saw Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 close 0.31% lower.

Whereas the JSE will open on Monday until noon before closing for the New Year holiday, it was the last trading day of 2018 in Japan, fixing the Nikkei 225 index’s loss for the year at 12.1%.

This marked the first annual loss for Japanese stocks since 2011.

For South Africans invested in Tokyo-listed blue chips via Sygnia’s MSCI Japan index, the loss in rand has been a less severe 1.87% over the year.

Of the geographic regions offered by Sygnia’s range of exchange-traded funds, Europe has been down worst with a 7% drop, followed by the UK with a 2.8% drop.

Local investors in the MSCI US index tracker have gained 7.66%, and in the S&P 500 tracker have gained 7.17%.

Shares that helped the all share index edge up 0.3% at 9.45am on Friday included Sibanye-Stillwater, which rose as much as 3.8% to R9.89.

Sibanye issued a statement on Thursday saying it is no longer a constituent of a gold miners index tracked by fund manager Van Eck. 

“As a result of the group’s growth in the platinum group metals (PGMs) sector and high prevailing PGM spot prices, revenue from Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold operations has reduced to less than 40% of its total revenues, and it was consequently excluded from the NYSE Arca gold miners index, the benchmark for the Van Eck ETF fund, during the recent quarterly review,” Sibanye said.

Van Eck has cut its holding in Sibanye to 4.97% from 9.12% as a result of it getting dropped from the NYSE Arca gold miners index.

Thursday’s announcement did not appear to concern Sibanye investors, who sent its price up to close 5.65% higher at R9.53.

The rand was slightly stronger at R14.44/$, R16.56/€ and R18.29/£ at 10am.

laingr@businesslive.co.za