Picture: MICHAEL BRATT
Picture: MICHAEL BRATT

The JSE was flat on Monday despite gains in international markets encouraged by developments in the US-China trade war.

US national security adviser Robert O’Brien said at the weekend that the first phase of a trade deal may be concluded by the end of 2019, CNBC reported earlier.

Reports that China will raise penalties on the violation of intellectual property (IP)  rights added to hopes that the US and China are close to finding a resolution to the 16-month-long trade war. IP protections are crucial in the talks.

“Unfortunately, we've been here so many times before, I'm struggling to get particularly excited,” said Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam.

“Traders are very sensitive to these headlines though, as we've seen over and over again throughout this process. Even if these reports turn out to be true, there will likely be a price for this concession in the form of tariff removals, something [US President Donald] Trump has shown little appetite for so far,” Erlam said.

The IMF said on Monday that SA faces weak economic growth, inequality and a greater credit-rating risk should the government not implement necessary reforms, Reuters reported.

S&P Global Ratings changed the outlook on SA’s credit rating from stable to negative on Friday night, which had a muted effect on the rand.

After being firmer earlier in the day, by 5.21pm, the rand had weakened 0.32% to R14.752/$, 0.3% to R16.2612/€ and 0.64% to R19.0387/£. The euro was flat at $1.1024.

Gold was flat at $1,459.69/oz while platinum added 0.61% to $898.39. Brent crude was little changed at $63.36 a barrel.

The R2030 government bond was weaker, with the yield rising 9.5 basis points to 9.23%. Bond yields move inversely to their prices. 

The Dow was up 0.47% to 28,003.68 points. In Europe, the FTSE 100 added 0.9%, France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX 0.55%. Earlier, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.72%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 1.5% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 0.78%.

The JSE all share was flat at 56,747.9 points, with the top 40 also little changed. Banks dropped 2.45% and financials were down 1.58%.

Pepkor Holdings said on Monday that total headline earnings per share (Heps) increased 14.5% to 96.8c in the year to end-September. The retailer declared a dividend of 20.9c, down 24.8% from the prior year. Its share price fell 0.17% to R17.92.

Sasol said on Monday that it expects Heps  to decrease by at least 20% to R4.65 in the half year to end-December. Sasol said it has also agreed to a new $1bn syndicated loan facility with several banks for up to 18 months. Its share price fell  0.31% to R281.73. 

Industrial company Invicta said on Monday that its  group revenue was flat R5.3bn in the six months to end-September. The company said its profit more than tripled to R207m in the period. Its share price, however, dropped 4.5% to R21.

Nampak dropped 5.86% to R6.75 after saying on Monday that it expects Heps from continuing operations to have fallen by between 67% and 72%, or 48.5c and 57.2c, in the year to end- September. The dip in earnings is the result of a R1.9bn net pre-tax foreign exchange loss in Zimbabwe.

Sirius Real Estate gained 3.47% to R14.90. The property company said on Monday that it is planning more acquisitions in the second half of the year. It reported that its Heps decreased by 32.2% to 1.45c in the six months to end-September.

mjoo@businesslive.co.za