MARKET WRAP | Broad-based losses for the JSE as trade war threatens growth

10 December 2018 - 19:32 By KARL GERNETZKY
Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE
Image: Supplied

The JSE weakened amid comprehensive losses on Monday, although gold miners benefited from safe-haven trade, as investors counted the cost of the US-China trade conflict.

The trade spat was just one of the issues causing investor jitters on Monday, with markets bracing for the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, while ongoing protests in France are threatening activity in Europe's second-largest economy.

Chinese export data earlier showed an unexpected fall in November, while Japan's GDP data for the third-quarter was downbeat, with its economy contracting 0.6% during the period. Analysts had expected a 0.3% fall.

Risk appetite has also been under some strain after a US official warned that there would be no more extensions given to China after a 90-day trade truce expires in March.

European and Asian markets were all lower, as was the Dow, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq opened higher.

The all share fell 1.18% to 50,434.4 points and the top 40 fell 1.31%. General retailers slumped 3.24%, banks 2.29% and food and drug retailers 1.91%. Platinums added 3.34% and gold miners 4%.

The rand slipped more than 1% against the dollar and euro, but this helped boost miners, who were finding some favour from safe-haven trade.

Local focus is on mining and manufacturing data on Tuesday, as well as consumer inflation numbers on Wednesday. The Trading Economics consensus is that inflation will remain unchanged at 5.1% year on year in November.

A host of risk-events, however, loom, including US inflation data on Wednesday. The European Central Bank (ECB) will announce its latest monetary policy decision on Thursday, which also marks the start of an EU summit. Should UK Prime Minister Theresa May postpone a planned Brexit vote on Tuesday, it is likely she will need to attend this summit to seek further concessions from the EU to placate rebellious members of her political party.   

Shortly after the JSE closed gold was 0.28% lower at $1,244.64 an ounce and platinum had lost 1% to $784.29. Brent crude was down 0.67% at $60.87 a barrel.

At the same time, the Dow had fallen 0.87% to 24,175.8 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 had lost 0.33%, the CAC 40 0.71% and the DAX 30 0.88%.

Sasol slumped 4.11% to R413.69.

Rand hedge British American Tobacco rose 1.96% to R490.95 and AB InBev 1.03% to R1,020.44.

Impala platinum jumped 6.51% to R37.28.

Absa slumped 2.89% to R150.44.

Mr Price fell 4.69% to R236.67 and TFG 4.62% to R167.26.

Greenbay Properties lost 10.87% to 41c. The company, now known as Lighthouse Capital, earlier reported that distribution per share grew 17.4% in the six months to end-September.

Naspers gave up 2.27% to R2,750.

- BusinessLIVE