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MARKET WRAP: JSE's six-week winning run comes to an end

26 April 2019 - 16:19 By Karl Gernetzky

The JSE edged slightly higher in a truncated session on Friday, reversing earlier losses after upbeat US data lifted sentiment.

The local bourse closed two hours early as it is implementing a new trading and clearance system, and volumes on the day were low.

Global sentiment was subdued for most of the day as investors waited for US GDP data for the first quarter of 2019, which came in at 3.2%, well ahead of expectations of 2%.

The rand firmed amid an uptick in sentiment, with all eyes on next week's US Federal Reserve decision. As the JSE closed the rand was up 0.56% to R14.344/$, but was down 2% for the week, its worst performance in two months.

The JSE rose 0.15% to 58,894.2 points and the top 40 was up 0.19%. Banks added 1.08% and general retailers 0.92%. The all share lost 0.55% for the week.

Shortly after the JSE closed European markets were mixed, with the FTSE 100 down 0.11%, while the CAC 40 had added 0.21% and the DAX 30 0.17%.

Gold was up 0.38% to $1,281.73/oz and platinum 0.39% to $890.52. Brent crude was 1.56% lower at $73.12 a barrel.

There was much corporate news to give the markets direction, with Pick n Pay slumping 3.78% to R69, despite reporting turnover growth of 7.1% in the 53 weeks ending March 3.

Anglo American fell 1.54% to R373.97. The diversified miner fell 5.75% during the week, its worst performance in five months, having reported on Thursday that production in its first quarter fell 6%.

Diversified miner Glencore slumped 3.75% to R57.75, amid reports that US authorities were investigating alleged corrupt practices related to its operations in Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.

Implats fell 1.55% to R63.50, having said earlier that although it refined 9% more platinum in the nine months to end-March year on year, it was facing headwinds in 2019 due to upcoming wage negotiations.

Sibanye-Stillwater gave back 0.35% to R14.25. Earlier it announced that it had upped its takeover offer for Lonmin 3.4%. Lonmin lost 1.37% to R13.70,

Naspers gained 0.78% to R3,693.

Comair rose 1.12% to R4.50. The labour court ruled on Thursday that a strike by its ground crew affiliated with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) may not proceed.

Trading conditions may be subdued next week as Wednesday is a public holiday. There are a number of economic reports to give the market direction, however, but global focus is expected to remain on US corporate earnings.

On Tuesday, the SA Revenue Service will release the trade balance figures for March, while on Thursday, the Absa purchasing managers index (PMI) for April is due. The PMI, which gauges activity in the manufacturing sector, fell for a third consecutive month to 45 points in March — indicating a contraction in the sector.

The US Federal Reserve's federal open market committee will meet next week. Although it is not expected to announce a change to interest rates on Wednesday, its forward guidance and tone will be closely watched.

- BusinessLIVE