MARKET WRAP: JSE slips ahead of data-heavy week

29 April 2019 - 19:27 By Karl Gernetzky

The JSE fell in broad-based losses on Monday, although the rand was a little firmer, as markets wait for a series of risk events this week.

Amid a spate of economic news, the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England are both set to make policy announcements. US nonfarm payrolls numbers are due on Friday.

Market activity may also be subdued by the closure of the JSE on Wednesday for Workers' Day, while Japanese markets are closed all week for the Golden Week holiday.

Thinned-out trading activity holds the potential to influence trading behaviour in the rand, and as SA heads to the polls next week, and the current week is data heavy, there was no question that investors would be cautious, said Mercato Financial Services analyst Nico du Plessis.

Sentiment was dented a little earlier by poor eurozone data, with a gauge of business sentiment showing that confidence fell to a two-and-a-half year low in April.

The all share gave up 0.39% to 58,662.7 points and the top 40 fell 0.35%. Banks rose 0.52%. Platinums fell 4.83% and gold miners 3.46%.

Shortly after the JSE closed, gold was down 0.49% to $1,279.55/oz, while platinum had fallen 0.93% to $890.96. Brent crude was up 0.81% to $72.16 a barrel.

Oil has been volatile recently, under pressure amid escalating tension between the US and Iran. Oil fell 3.61% on Friday, after US President Donald Trump tweeted that he had spoken to various major producers about increasing output.

The Dow was flat at 26,567.09 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 had risen 0.3%, the CAC 40 0.22% and the DAX 30 0.12%.

The rand was up 0.57% to R14.3035/$.

In the week ahead, local balance of trade figures are due on Tuesday, while the Absa purchasing managers' index is due on Thursday. 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.

Diversified miner Glencore recovered 0.71% to R58.16. It slumped 3.75% on Friday, amid reports that US authorities were investigating alleged corrupt practices related to its operations in Venezuela, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.

Sasol fell 0.69% to R476.42.

Rand hedge British American Tobacco gained 1.14% to R554.83.

Standard Bank gained 1.28% to R199.40.

Reinet Investments gained 1.69% to R238.46. It said earlier that the net asset value of its main investment vehicle rose 24.7% in the three months to end-March 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.

Shoprite gained 1.04% to R177.65.

MTN fell 0.59% to R103.39 despite saying earlier its division in Ghana saw revenue growth of 21.9% year on year for the three months to end-March. Service revenue rose 21.9% compared with the same quarter a year before, as voice revenues climbed 20.3%, data revenues grew 22.3% and mobile financial services revenues 51%.

Naspers fell 0.2% to R3,685.43.