JSE opens flat on weaker rand as Donald Trump targets China again

28 June 2018 - 11:34 By By Maarten Mittner
Johannesburg Stock Exchange opened flat on Thursday as the risk-on rally on the Dow proved to be short lived.
Johannesburg Stock Exchange opened flat on Thursday as the risk-on rally on the Dow proved to be short lived.
Image: MICHAEL BRATT. File Photo.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) opened flat on Thursday as the risk-on rally on the Dow proved to be short lived‚ with the market erasing all its earlier gains on renewed talk by US officials about adopting a hardline approach toward China on trade.

That sent the rand in a renewed tailspin‚ weakening to within a whisker of R14/$‚ as the dollar aimed to break through $1.15 (R15.90) to the euro.

The weaker rand drove retailers and property stocks lower‚ but banks were slightly higher. Rand hedges gained‚ together with global miners‚ which rose on a higher oil price‚ with Brent crude at $77.75 (R1075.16) a barrel.

Platinum and gold stocks were lower.

The Dow firmed strongly at the opening on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump adopted a seemingly softer tone towards Chinese tech investments in the US.

However‚ later comments by Trump’s chief economic adviser‚ Larry Kudlow‚ reignited the fear of a hard-line approach when he said that "Trump was not retreating on China".

"This wiped out all of the gains on the Dow‚ after US stock markets posted the biggest daily gains since February‚" FxPro analysts said.

The Dow closed 0.68% lower and the Shanghai Composite lost 0.93%. The Nikkei 225 was flat‚ while the Hang Seng added 0.21%.

At 10.01am the all share was 0.08% up at 55‚415.70 points and the top 40 gained 0.14%. Resources rose 0.55% and banks 0.39%. General retailers shed 0.45%‚ the gold index 0.41%‚ platinum 0.35% and property 0.28%.

The rand was at R13.8707 to the dollar.

Sasol rose 1.5% to R481.13.

British American Tobacco rose 2.61% to R688.

FirstRand gained 1.85% to R59.89 but Barclays Africa lost 0.56% to R151.95.

Newly listed Quilter lost 1.02% to R27.06 and Old Mutual Limited 0.81% to R28.28.

Growthpoint dropped 1.06% to R25.23 but Resilient added 1.26% to R53.80 and Nepi Rockcastle 0.51% to R117.25.

Naspers slipped 0.09% to R3‚175.

Taste Holdings was 2.27% lower at 43c‚ bringing losses for the year to 35.8%.


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