Weaker gold miners drag all-share index lower
The JSE closed softer on Monday primarily on the back of losses from gold miners and a couple of blue-chips.
The local bourse took direction from Europe which tracked mostly lower on the day, shrugging off modest gains which were recorded in Asia. With markets still sensitive to any news on the trade war between China and the US, market participants searched for fresh clues on market direction with the absence of new information the tensions.
On the currency market, the rand steamed ahead to peak at a session high of R14.66/$ before it retraced to trade 0.42% firmer at R14.73/$ at 17:00.
On the local index, DRD Gold [JSE:DRD] led losses amongst the gold miners as it plummeted 7.63% to close at R5.69, Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] lost 5.48% to close at R48.46, and AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] fell 4.84% to close at R303.45.
Curro Holdings [JSE:COH] also struggled on the day as it lost 7.16% to end the day at R18.01, while RCL Foods [JSE:RCL] dropped to R9.48 after losing 3.27%.
Index heavyweight Naspers [JSE:NPN] fell 1.03% to close at R3528.34, while Multichoice Group [JSE:MCG] dropped 1.86% to close at R121.77. Other significant losses on the day were recorded for Sibanye Stillwater [JSE:SGL] which lost 4.85% to close at R17.67, MTN Group [JSE:MTN] which fell 2.72% to R100.32, and Telkom [JSE:TKG] which closed at R79.03 after dropping 3.57%.
Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] surged 14.06% to close at R7.30 following news that a private equity firm is in the early stages of looking into a buyout of the business. Tsogo Sun Gaming [JSE:TSG] advanced on the day as it gained 5.43% to close at R13.99, while rand hedge Sappi [JSE:SAP] added 5.09% to close at R43.56.
Oil and gas producer, Sasol [JSE:SOL] rebounded in today's session as it closed 3.63% higher at R270.00, while holding company Brait [JSE:BAT] gained 3.5% to end the day at R14.80. AVI Ltd [JSE:AVI] managed to post gains of 3.53% to close at R87.46 despite its full-year financial results indicating lower earnings.
The JSE Top-40 index eventually closed 0.14% lower while the broader JSE All-Share index fell 0.34%. The fnancials index only managed to gain a modest 0.09%, however the industrials and resources indices lost 0.51% and 0.16% respectively.
At 17:00, palladium was up 0.7% to close at $1553.05/Oz, gold had lost 0.54% to trade at $1498.76/Oz, and platinum was down 0.52% at $946.45/Oz.
Brent crude surged after news broke out that Saudi Arabia had replaced its energy minister in a move seen as a measure to enforce OPEC output cuts. The commodity was trading 1.58% higher at $62.51/barrel just after the JSE close.
* Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group.