Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the US, on February 27 2019. REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the US, on February 27 2019. REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

Thursday is a busy day on both the JSE results and economics fronts.

Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB Inbev) and cigarette maker British American Tobacco (BAT) are both scheduled to release their 2018 financial year results.

Other companies diarised to report on Thursday include paper and packaging group Mondi, platinum miner Impala, retailer Massmart, insurers Liberty and Santam, Cell’s largest shareholder Blue Label Telecoms, and restaurant franchiser Spur.

The SA Reserve Bank is scheduled to report January’s money supply and private sector credit extension figures at 8am. 

Stats SA will release January’s producer price index (PPI), used to calculate factory and farm gate inflation, at 11.30am.

January’s balance of trade figures will be released by Stats SA at 2pm.

Impala told shareholders on February 18 that it expected to report a return to profit for the six months to end-December, with headline earnings per share (HEPS) of about R3.10 compared with a headline loss of 21c in the matching period.

The fortunes of platinum group metals (PGMs) miners have been boosted by a strong run in the palladium price, which has convincingly overtaken gold in the first two months of 2019 after a neck-and-neck race in December.

Image: Iress

Mondi said in a trading statement on February 15 that it expected HEPS for the year to end-December to have grown about 27%.

Santam said it expected HEPS for the year to end-December to grow about 48%, while Blue Label Telecoms warned its shareholders that for the six months to end-November HEPS would fall by more than 20%.

Investec Bank economist Kamilla Kaplan forecast SA’s trade balance registered a sizeable deficit of R14.2bn in January.

“A deficit is typically incurred in the month of January as imports increase from the seasonal decline in the month of December. The pace of increase in imports is, however, likely to be restricted by the effect of the decline in international oil prices,” Kaplan wrote in her weekly note e-mailed on Friday.

The mood of global markets was generally downbeat ahead of the JSE’s opening, with AB InBev closing 0.67% lower at $74.72 in New York and BAT down 0.89% to £28.09 in London.

Naspers’s main asset, Tencent, was down 0.35% to HK$339 in Hong Kong and BHP was down 1% to A$37.30 in Sydney.

The rand was trading at R13.94/$, R15.86/€, and R18.54/£ at 6.50am.

laingr@businesslive.co.za