The JSE closed at its lowest level in more than a month, tracking global markets as investors remain concerned about global economic growth. 

Weak manufacturing data from the US and the eurozone this week re-ignited fears that growth in the global economy is slowing. 

Locally, the ANC briefed the media on Wednesday regarding its plan to boost the local economy. It also said it will decide on a plan for troubled state-owned entity Eskom by the end of the month.

Shortly after the JSE closed, the rand had firmed 0.63% to R15.2323/$ — ending a five-day losing streak. It had strengthened 0.48% to R16.6803/€ and 0.62% to R18.7503/£. The euro 0.17% firmer at $1.0951. 

The benchmark R186 government bond was stronger, with the yield falling five basis points to 8.345%. Bond prices move inversely to bond yields. 

Gold added 1.33% to $1,498.93/oz and platinum 1.09% to $886.86. Brent crude lost 3.09% to $57.38 a barrel. 

The Dow was down 1.76% to 26,104.05 points, while in Europe the FTSE 100 had fallen 3.21%, France’s CAC 40 2.68% and Germany’s DAX 2.23%.

Earlier, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.3% and Japan's Nikkei 225 0.49%.

The JSE all share fell 1.71% to 54,003.8 points and the top 40 1.91%. Resources dropped 2.11% and industrials 2.08%. 

Among diversified miners, South32 relinquished 4.88% to R25.36, BHP 3.9% to R314, Glencore 3.04% to R43.37, and Anglo American 2.98% to R339.12. 

Bidcorp fell 0.31% to R325 after the company said on Wednesday that it had agreed to sell its UK logistics business, Best Foods, to a subsidiary of Tesco.

Germany-focused Sirius Real Estate gained 1.24% to R13.89. It said on Wednesday that it had extended its banking facility with Berlin Hyp to a total of €180.2m as it seeks to double its asset base by 2024. It has already identified new acquisitions.

Old Mutual fell 0.26% to R19.42. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that the company said its axed CEO Peter Moyo had issued the insurer with a summons seeking damages of R250m.

Tiso Blackstar Group dropped 5.88% to R3.20, after saying earlier that it would write-off its R137.6m investment in steel manufacturer Robor, in which it holds a 47.61% share. The steel manufacturer is to be liquidated due to weak local demand and cheap Chinese imports.

Nepi Rockcastle gained 0.76% to R134.52. The property owner announced a bookbuild worth €500m (R9.3bn) on Wednesday, through unsecured corporate bond issuance.

Ascendis Health plunged 9.31% to R3.80. The company postponed its financial results for the year to end-June on Wednesday, citing complexities related to the accounting treatment of discontinued operations and the implementation of new accounting standards. The pharmaceutical group has already delayed its results once.

Cartrack jumped 7.44% to R20.95 after the company said on Wednesday that it expects headline earnings per share to increase by between 20% and 30% in the six months to end-August.

The Standard Bank whole-economy purchasing mangers’ index is due for release on Thursday.


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