Johannesburg – The JSE closed weaker on Wednesday as it followed the trend in global equities which pulled back after President Donald Trump’s comments on China trade talks.
Trump implied that a deal with China would be hard to accomplish, which ignited fresh fears into financial markets with US markets closing weaker on Tuesday as a result.
On Wednesday, Asian markets also traded under pressure with the Nikkei and the Hang Seng shedding 1.18% and 1.82% respectively. The local bourse opened weaker and traded under pressure for the entirety of today’s trading session.
Statistics SA released inflation numbers for April, which came in better than expected. CPI year-on-year came in at 4.5% which was better than the forecast 4.7%, while the month-on-month number came in at 0.8% which was also better than the estimated 0.9%.
These inflation numbers are key ahead of the South African Reserve Bank’s interest rate decision on Thursday, although initial estimates suggest that the central bank will leave rates unchanged.
On the JSE, stocks traded mostly under pressure with significant moves lower being recorded in ArcelorMittal and Steinhoff International , which lost 11.02% and 7.74% respectively.
Platinum miners Lonmin and Impala Platinum slid by 6.09% and 6.98% respectively, while Sibanye-Stillwater and Anglo American Platinum lost 7.95% and 7.52% respectively.
Listed property stocks Rebosis Property Fund and Redefine Properties lost 7.56% and 5.22% respectively, while oil and gas producer Sasol lost 4.64% to close at R469.97 per share.
Bidvest and Sappi shed 3.4% and 3.6% respectively, while imperial Holdings shed 2.96%.
There were very few positives to take note of, particularly on the JSE Top-40 Index where only three stocks managed to record gains on the day.
These stocks were Growthpoint Properties , Reinet [JSE:RNI] and Tiger Brands which recorded gains of 0.4%, 0.64% and 0.37% respectively.
Murray and Roberts climbed 7.3% to close at R17.20 per share, while Capital and Regional jumped 6.11%.
Alexander Forbes added 3.01% to close at R6.50 per share, while food producers Pioneer Foods and RCL Foods gained 1.5% and 2.26% respectively.
The JSE All-Share Index closed 1.93% weaker, while the JSE Top-40 Index also lost 1.93%.
All the major indices closed in the red, with the Resources Index coming under significant pressure to lose 3.69%. The Industrials and Financials Indices lost 1.21% and 1.63% respectively.
The rand strengthened towards the JSE close, after sliding earlier on to a session low of R12.70/$. At 17:00 the local unit was trading at R12.56/$.
At 17:00 gold was trading at $1291.56 per ounce, while platinum and palladium were recorded at $901.76/oz and $971.60/oz respectively.
Brent crude eased from its overnight highs to reach a session low of $78.74 per barrel. The commodity was trading at $78.59/barrel just after the JSE close.
Bitcoin traded under pressure and at 17:00 it was down 4.37% for the day to trade at $7879.00 per coin. Ethereum was down 9.29% for the day to trade at $616.80 per coin.
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