Capr Town – The JSE traded under pressure on Friday following the sharp sell-off in US equity markets in Thursday’s session.
US markets came under pressure on Thursday which saw the Dow Jones and S&P500 indices closing 4.15% and 3.75% lower respectively. Subsequently Asian markets also came under pressure which saw the Nikkei and Hang Seng losing 2.32% and 3.10% respectively.
The JSE opened lower and continued to trade under pressure for the entirety of Friday’s trading session.
Liberty Holdings [JSE:LBH] and Trustco [JSE:TTO] came under pressure to lose 7.16% and 4.49% respectively. Liberty Holdings did release a trading statement which indicated increases in EPS and HEPS, but this was mainly attributed to an accounting mismatch arising on the consolidation of Liberty Two Degrees [JSE:L2D] into the Liberty Holdings.
Gold miners continued to trade under pressure due to the weaker gold price and as a result Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] and AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] lost 2.81% and 1.38% respectively. However, Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] closed up 3.59% following the release of a positive trading statement which indicated that they are expecting decent increases in profit for the 6 months ended December 31 2017.
Old Mutual [JSE:OML] lost 3.55% to close at R38.00 per share, whilst Naspers [JSE:NPN] ended the day 1.8% weaker.
Capitec Holdings [JSE:CPI] gained 2.55% to close at R831.32 per share whilst Woolworths [JSE:WHL] and Bidvest [JSE:BVT] gained 2.05% and 0.95% respectively. Consolidated Infrastructure [JSE:CIL] continued on its bullish run to end the day up 3.45%. Sibanye-Stillwater [JSE:SGL] and Lonmin [JSE:LON] eventually closed flat after trading firmer for most of the day.
The JSE Top-40 index ended the day down 1.30% whilst the broader All-Share index was 1.29% lower. All the JSE major indices were trading in the red which saw the Industrials index losing 1.39%, the Financials index lost 1.21% and the Resources index lost 0.98%.
The US dollar recorded gains overnight as the US 10-year Treasury yields rose to almost re-test their recent highs of 2.86%. As a result the Rand was softer against the greenback to reach an intra-day low of R12.05/$. At 17:00, the rand was trading at R12.06/$.
The strength in the US dollar resulted in gold sliding from its overnight highs to bottom out at $1 312.25/Oz. The precious metal was trading at $1 314.35/Oz just after the JSE close.
The slide in palladium has persisted and on Friday it slipped below platinum’s trading price to reach a day’s low of $960.63/Oz. Palladium was trading at $962.51/Oz just after the close. Platinum had milder slide compared to palladium and at 17.00 CAT it was trading at $965.13/Oz.
Brent Crude slid below $64/barrel to reach an intra-day low of $63.70/barrel. The commodity was trading at $63.85/barrel just after the close.
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