Local equities break winning streak


Johannesburg – Equities on the JSE have closed negative for the first time in 10 consecutive sessions.

The local bourse opened weaker, and traded under pressure for the better portion of Thursday’s session, as equities struggled to gain any upside momentum.

The All-Share index started to turn positive towards the close, but still finished down.  

The rand continued to strengthen against major currency pairs as the US dollar remained relatively subdued in early morning trade.

The local currency broke R13.50/$ as it peaked to an intra-day high of R13.45 against the greenback. When the JSE closed it was trading at R13.47/$.

Stadio [JSE:SDO] continued on its high flying trend as it gained another 6.50%. Aspen [JSE:APN]  jumped 4.00% while ArcelorMittal [JSE:ACL] gained 4.42%.

Retailers also traded firmer. Massmart [JSE:MSM] gained 3.02%, while Truworths [JSE:TRU] and Woolworths [JSE:WHL] firmed by 2.70% and 1.35% respectively.

Banking stocks Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] and Barclays Africa [JSE:BGA] traded firmer to close the day 0.75% and 0.36% up.

Index heavyweights Naspers [JSE:NPN] and BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] traded under pressure, shedding 0.62% and 0.65% respectively.

Richemont [JSE:CFR] lost 1.08%, while miners Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] and AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] lost 2.88% and 1.17% respectively.

The JSE All-Share index closed flat, down by 0.04%. The Top-40 index lost 0.17%.

The Industrials index lost 0.15% and the Resources index 0.73%.

The Financials index, meanwhile, bounced on the back of a firmer Rand to close the day up 0.91%.

Mining and minerals 

Local mining production numbers impressed, with a year-on-year increase of 6.9% against an estimate of just 0.5%. Gold production was also up by 7.7% year-on-year.

Palladium remained bullish as it peaked to an intra-day high of $987.97 per ounce before retracing slightly to trade at $984.75/Oz just after the JSE closed.

Platinum was also firmer. It was trading at $938.03/Oz just after the local market closed. Platinum miner Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] gained 1.05% whilst Sibanye Stillwater [JSE:SGL] inched up 1.08%. 

Gold, meanwhile, was threatening to test $1300 per ounce earlier on as it peaked to an intra-day high of $1297.54/Oz, but it retraced slightly in the afternoon as the US dollar bounced on the back of better than expected US Initial Jobless Claims numbers.

When the JSE closed the precious metal was trading at $1293.56/Oz.

Brent Crude was softer during Thursday’s session, despite US crude oil stockpile data showing that inventories decreased more than anticipated last week. Brent Crude was trading at $55.92 per barrel just after the JSE closed.

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE UPDATE: Get Fin24’s top morning business news and opinions in your inbox.

Read Fin24’s top stories trending on Twitter:

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. 24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

Read Original Article