MARKET WRAP: JSE climbs 1% led by Naspers

18 March 2019 - 19:46 By Karl Gernetzky

The JSE pushed higher on Monday, with banks reversing earlier weakness to close higher.

Market heavyweight Naspers gained 2.79% to R3,233.79, tracking a similar rise in Hong Kong-listed Tencent, which releases its annual results on Thursday.

Tencent’s share price has been recovering of late, with Vestact analysts noting that this had followed the company’s implementation of its own gaming restrictions, such as age limits, amid a crackdown by Chinese regulators.

The US Federal Reserve will begin its meeting on interest rates on Tuesday, and will hold a news conference on Wednesday. Dovish Fed policy has been cited by analysts recently a reason for the dollar’s weakness, which has benefited miners.

Investors are also closely watching Brexit developments. British MPs may vote on Tuesday for a third time on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, although May has indicated she may opt to withdraw it if there is clearly insufficient support.

The all share gained 1.3% to 56,769.9 points and the top 40 1.42%. Platinums rose 2.73%, the resources index 2.04%, industrials 1.31% and general retailers 0.72%. The property index gave up 0.31%.

The oil price remains elevated by promises of extended production cuts by Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter. Problems in Venezuela, including rolling blackouts, also continue to hamper output in that country.

BHP gained 2.55% to R337.15 and Anglo American 1.79% to R375.60.

Hulamin fell 1.92% to R4.59. It reported that revenue rose 8.5% in the year to end-December, although it said retail growth had disappointed in its second half.

Rand hedge British American Tobacco gained 2.78% to R599 and AB InBev 1.52% to R1,188.

Northam Platinum firmed 4.33% to R64.76 and Anglo American Platinum 3.03% to R801.17.

Steinhoff International added 7.07% to R1.97. On Friday, an overview of PwC’s forensic investigation into the retailer’s past suggested that the quantum of fictitious transactions at the retailer may be slightly less than originally thought.

Pepkor added 0.64% to R18.97. It said earlier the overview showed that it had not been on the receiving end of any fictitious or irregular contributions from Steinhoff.

AdvTech fell 1.13% to R12.30. It reported earlier that revenue rose 11% in the year to end-December, although it noted trading conditions in SA remain subdued.

Sun International rose 1.37% to R57.11. It said that adjusted headline earnings grew 20% in the year to end-December.

Standard Bank added 1.23% to R193.56.

Shortly after the JSE closed the Dow was flat at 25,863.98 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 10 had gained 0.78% and the CAC 40 0.13%; the DAX 30 had lost 0.13%.

Gold was up 0.36% at $1,305.63/oz and platinum 0.59% to $834.65. Brent crude was 0.87% higher at $67.60 a barrel.

The rand was flat against the dollar at R14.4289. Local government bonds were also little changed.

South African markets will be closed for a holiday on Thursday.

- BusinessLIVE