MARKET WRAP: JSE edges higher led by miners

08 April 2019 - 19:41 By Karl Gernetzky

The JSE closed higher on Monday, as a rising oil price and weaker rand gave some support to miners, although this put pressure on banks and general retailers.

Trade on global markets is somewhat cautious, with investors waiting for direction from ongoing risk events this week, including US-China trade talks and Brexit negotiations.

US and Chinese officials are expected to meet on Tuesday, while EU leaders will consider UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s request for a Brexit extension during a summit on Wednesday.

The rand was slightly weaker, at R14.12/$ as the JSE closed. The local currency has been boosted recently by a favourable opinion by Moody’s Investors Service on SA’s credit rating, as well as signs of progress in US-China trade talks.

The rand is brushing up against a resistance level of R14.08/$, but further strength could follow expectations of lower interest rates in the US, Investec chief economist Annabel Bishop said.

The all share gained 0.36% to 57,985.8 points and the top 40 rose 0.37%. Gold miners added 4.32% and platinums 3.19%. General retailers lost 1.16% and banks 0.44%.

At 5pm platinum was up 1% at $910.38/oz and gold 0.37% to $1,299.49. Brent crude had gained 0.54% higher to $70.78 a barrel.

Oil has risen amid fears of supply disruptions in Libya, where armed conflict is escalating.

Corporate news was light on Monday, and no major results are expected in the week ahead.

Mining and manufacturing numbers for March are due on Wednesday, and will offer further detail on SA’s economic performance in the first quarter of 2019.

Diversified miner Anglo American gained 1.28% to R404.78 and BHP 1.27% to R357.17.

Kumba Iron Ore jumped 5.76% to R468.94.

Harmony Gold lifted 7.5% to R28.37 and Sibanye-Stillwater 5.5% to R17.25.

Amplats rose 5.02% to R835.

Mr Price lost 2.58% to R191.01.

Ayo Tech fell 6.67% to R14. Earlier, its former chief investment officer, Siphiwe Nodwele, told the inquiry into the affairs of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) that the technology company had been grossly overvalued.

Sirius Real Estate gained 0.86% to R11.75. It said earlier in a trading update that annualised rental income had increased about 10% to €87.7m in the year to end-March.

Pick n Pay rose 4% to R69.90. Earlier it said that it expected headline earnings per share for the 53 weeks to end-March to have risen by between 20% and 30% compared to the prior matching period. Turnover grew 9.6% over the same time.

As the JSE closed, the Dow had fallen 0.43% to 26,310.22 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 was flat, the CAC 40 had fallen 0.12% and the DAX 30 was 0.43% down.

Losses by aircraft manufacturer Boeing put pressure on US markets earlier, and investors are looking forward to a spate of results from major banks later in the week.