| JSE gains towards close after lacklustre start

Johannesburg – The JSE got off to a slow start but managed to gain towards the close to end the day firmer on Monday.

The local bourse traded relatively flat as the index struggled to find a catalyst for significant direction. Gains were limited particularly among blue-chip counters, where two of the index’s constituents released their earnings results.

Sappi ended the day up 3.52% to close at R83.50 per share as the stock was buoyed by the release of its second-quarter results. Mediclinic and NEPI Rockcastle [JSE:NRP] also recorded gains of 2.26% and 1.52% respectively.

Index heavyweights Naspers and Richemont added 0.88% and 1.52% respectively.

Gains were more pronounced on the broader index where Lonmin ended as they day’s biggest gainer after adding 6.84% to close at R8.59 per share.

Sibanye-Stillwater firmed by 5.63% to close at R9.38 per share. Other significant moves higher were recorded in Tradehold and Raubex which gained 6.46% and 6.72% respectively, while Sun International and Ascendis Health added 4.38% and 6.32% respectively.

Vodacom’s earnings results came in lower than expected for the year ended March 31 2018, mainly due to their acquisition of Safaricom. The stock lost 2.57% to close at R152.96 per share as a result.

Discovery Limited shed 2.02% to close at R165.00 per share, whilst bankers, First Rand and Standard Bank lost 0.23% and 0.61% respectively.

Stadio Holdings [JSE:SDO] was one of the day’s biggest losers after shedding 6.31%. Astral Foods came under pressure despite an improvement in their half-year earnings results compared to the corresponding prior recorded period. The stock ended the day down 5%.

Other stocks which came under pressure included Afrimat , Pan-African Resources and Rhodes Food Group which lost 2.47%, 3.08% and 3.37% respectively.

The JSE All-Share Index eventually closed 0.33% firmer after struggling for the better portion of today’s session, while the JSE Top-40 Index ended the day up 0.34%. The Financials Index lost 0.26%; however, the Industrials and Resources Indices managed to add 0.43% and 0.63% respectively.

The rand strengthened against the greenback earlier on to peak at a session high of R12.18/$. However, the local currency reversed all the gains which saw the currency slide to a session low of R12.30/$. At 17.00 CAT the local unit was trading at R12.27/$.

Gold was range bound between $1 317.96 per ounce and $1 322.40/oz. At 17.00 CAT it was trading at $1319.97/oz, only up 0.03% for the day. Platinum and palladium traded firmer on the day which saw them trading at $919.09/oz and $1001.85/oz at 17.00 CAT.

Brent crude gained more than 1% in today’s trading session to peak at a session high of $78.22 per barrel. Just after the JSE close, the commodity was still trading firmer at $78.13/barrel.

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