JSE softer amid flurry of earnings results

[ad_1]

Feb 22 2018 19:19

Musa Makoni, EasyEquities

Cape Town – The local
bourse closed weaker on Thursday in a session that was mainly characterised by
the release of earnings results from a number of listed companies.

Direction
on the JSE was also drawn from the overnight sell-off in US equity markets
which saw the Dow Jones and S&P500 indices close weaker after initially opening
firmer. This filtered into Asian equity markets trading on Tuesday and
subsequently onto the JSE. Surprisingly this resulted in some stocks which reported
positive earnings trading softer, whilst some companies which reported weak
earnings saw their stock price appreciate.

Woolworths
[JSE:WHL] might have surprised a few market participants as it inched up to end
the day 1.85% firmer. This was despite 26 week earnings results which
highlighted tough trading conditions for the group and decreased profitability.

Blue Label Telecoms’ [JSE:BLU] half year results exceeded market expectations
and as a result the stock jumped 14.93% to close at R13.19 per share. Massmart
[JSE:MSM] released full year results which indicated healthy increases in
headline EPS and headline earnings, and as a result the stock closed 8.81%
firmer.

The blue
chip index weighed down on the overall index as most of the constituents in that
index were trading in the red. The biggest losers in the Top 40 index were
listed property stocks Resilient [JSE:RES] and Fortress B [JSE:FFB] which lost 10.83%
and 10.32% respectively.

Sibanye-Stillwater’s [JSE:SGL] 6 month earnings
results did not impress the market as the stock lost 16.36% to close at R11.30
per share. British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] lost 4.31% to close at R696.62
per share despite a relatively impressive set of results.

Lonmin [JSE:LON] also
came under significant pressure to end the day down 12.09%, whilst miners
Impala Platinum [JSE:IM] and African Rainbow Minerals [JSE:ARM] lost 4.75% and 3.85%
respectively.

The JSE
Top 40 index eventually closed the day down 0.91% whilst the broader All-Share index shed 0.77%. All the major indices came under pressure in Thursday’s session
which saw the Resources index losing 0.63%, whilst the Industrials index and
Financials index lost 0.69% and 1.03% respectively.

Commodity
markets were volatile on Thursday as huge swings were witnessed across both the metal
and energy commodities.

Brent Crude slipped to an intra-day low of
$64.62/barrel before managing climb back above $65/barrel. The commodity was
trading at $65.62/barrel just after the JSE close with Crude Oil stockpiles
data out of the USA still to be released at 18:00 CAT.

Gold opened
weaker following the overnight rally in the US dollar. The precious metal slid
to day’s low of $1 321.04/Oz before rebounding to trade $1 328.38/Oz just after
the close.

Palladium
did open weaker, but it quickly erased the losses and was trading in the green
for the better part portion of Thursday’s trading session. The metal was trading
at $1 037.65/Oz just after the close. Platinum was marginally firmer at the JSE
close as it was recorded at $994.03/Oz.

US equity
markets opened firmer on Thursday and at 17:00 CAT the Dow Jones and the
S&P500 indices were 0.48% and 0.63% firmer.

Read Original Article