Truworths: All eyes on the consumerBut credit must be given where it is due, so hats off to Truworths for sticking out a pretty uninspiring trading update that prompted the share price to take off as if somebody had lit the blue touchpaper. This rare phenomenon can occur when the market has been expecting a catastrophe of truly epic proportion and is surprised to find that, instead of being awful, the results are merely mediocre. It is certainly more popular with the punters than the reverse scenario, when results surprise the market on the downside and are greeted with an echoing raspberry and a headlong rush to dump the stock at any price.The clothing retailer mentioned a challenging trading environment blamed on all the usual suspects, plus the surprise of the rand’s strength against sterling. But the key question to exercise the mind is whether there is any real evidence of the return to form of the beleaguered consumer. The poor old man in the street has been plodding his way d...

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