Volatile trading session for JSE

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Cape Town – The JSE tracked
lower on Wednesday in a session that was characterised by significant
volatility.

The local
bourse opened lower on the back of profit-taking, as well as a general bearish
sentiment in global equities due to the fears surrounding US proposed steel and
aluminium tariffs. The European Union pushed a final attempt to stop Donald
Trump from imposing the tariffs, and at the same time indicated that they would
respond firmly should the tariffs be triggered.

BHP
Billiton [JSE:BIL], Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] and NEPI Rockcastle [JSE:NRP] were
all trading ex-dividend on Wednesday which saw them shed 4.24%, 7.08% and 2.75%
respectively. Other stocks which were also trading ex-dividend included
Fortress A [JSE:FFA] and Fortress B [JSE:FFB] which shed 5.64% and 5.86%
respectively.

Tiger Brands [JSE:TBS] and Exxaro [JSE:EXX] weakened by 7.90% and
3.45% respectively, whilst MMI Holdings [JSE:MMI] lost 2.93% on the back of 6
months earnings results which did not impress.

Commodity
prices retreated from the previous session’s rally, which resulted in most JSE
listed miners trading softer on Wednesday. Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] shed 1.43%
to close at R29.00 per share, whilst Glencore [JSE:GLN] lost 0.89% to close at
R60.07 per share.

Despite earlier pressure some of the retailers reversed
earlier losses to end the day in the green. Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK] ended the day 0.70%
softer as it failed to complete its comeback.

Shoprite
[JSE:SHP], Truworths [JSE:TRU] and Woolworths [JSE:WHL] reversed their losses
to end the day up 0.24%, 0.16% and 0.26% respectively. Top gainers on the day
included Life Healthcare [JSE:LHC] and KAP Industrial Holdings [JSE:KAP] which ended
the day up 3.34% and 5.08% respectively. Listed property stock Resilient
[JSE:RES] added 2.49% to close at R62.67 per share, whilst Bidvest [JSE:BVT] closed at R238.28 per share, up 1.76% for the day.

The JSE
All-Share Index was down by more than 1% at some point during Wednesday’s session,
but there was quite a reversal which saw it end the day only down 0.47%. The
blue-chip Top-40 Index ended the day 0.48% lower. The major indices traded
fairly mixed, but in the end the momentum was still very much to the downside.
The Industrials Index closed flat as it ended the day up 0.06%, whilst the
Resources and Financials Indices lost 1.46% and 1.05% respectively.

The rand
weakened against the greenback mainly on the back of the marginal gains
recorded in the US dollar against a basket of major currencies. The local
currency weakened to a session low of R11.92/$ before rebounding marginally to
trade at R11.86/$ at 17:00 CAT.

Gold firmed
immediately after the open to peak at a session high of $1 340.59/Oz. However, it
subsequently came under pressure to trade softer for the remainder of Wednesday’s trading session. The precious metal was trading at $1 330.34/Oz just after the
JSE close.

Platinum
and palladium also traded softer as investors sold off commodities
for the US dollar. Palladium in particular lost more than 1.5% to trade at
$971.75/Oz just after the close, whilst platinum was 1.12% softer at
$958.43/Oz.

Brent Crude
was trading softer for the entirety of Wednesday’s session, and just after the JSE
close it was trading 0.62% softer, at $65.38/barrel.

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