Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE edged lower on Thursday morning, but was on track for its sixth-consecutive week of gains, amid subdued activity on global markets.

Equity markets had failed to push higher on Wednesday despite better-than-expected Chinese GDP data, with analysts citing general concern over a slowing global economy.

Investors were in wait-and-see mode, likely concerned about mistaking recent economic data as a sign of an economic upturn, when in fact growth may be slowing at a moderate pace, said SPI Asset Management analyst Stephen Innes.

Asian and European markets were lower in morning trade, with international focus on US retail sales numbers, due at 2.30pm SA time.

At 10am the all share was down 0.31% to 58,728.5 points while the top 40 had lost 0.37%. Platinums fell 0.74% and banks 0.35%. General retailers were up 0.25%.

Gold was flat at $1,274.87/oz while platinum had fallen 0.5% to $885.09. Brent crude was 0.43% lower at $71.27 a barrel.

EOH gave back 2.63% to R22.20. The company’s share price has rocketed about 97% this week, as it pursues a turnaround strategy.

Kumba Iron Ore slipped 1.31% to R446.54, extending Wednesday’s 4.94% fall. The world’s largest producer, Vale, has been given permission by a Brazilian court to reopen an iron-ore mine that was closed following a fatal dam disaster earlier in 2019.

Diversified miner BHP was down 0.41% to R338.08, having lost 3.03% on Wednesday. It said then it had lowered its production forecasts for iron ore, as it grapples with a hurricane that hit Western Australia in March.

Sibanye-Stillwater had lost 0.9% to R14.27. On Wednesday, the company said it had concluded a wage settlement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), bringing a five-month strike at its gold operations to an end.

Sasol dropped 2.69% to R461.66. Earlier it said production was ramping up at its Secunda operations. However, the oil price fell on Thursday, under pressure from rising production in the US.

Clicks added 2.74% to R189.12, extending Wednesday’s 3.99% jump. It had reported then that group turnover grew 6.2% in the six months to end-February. Total income rose 8.9% from the matching prior period.