MARKET WRAP: Miners boost JSE again as they have best year since 2016

12 December 2019 - 19:39 By lindiwe tsobo
Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE gained for a third consecutive day on Thursday, with the general mining index rising to its highest level since July 2008.

The gains in mining came despite the latest data from Stats SA showing earlier on Thursday that mining production declined for a third consecutive month in October, with a year-on-year contraction of 2.9%.

While uncertainty in the US-China trade war has put pressure on the rand and its emerging-market peers, the local currency gained for a second consecutive day on Thursday.

At 5.34pm the rand had strengthened 1.08% to R14.5198/$, 1.03% to R16.1645/€ and 1.43% to R19.0869/£. The euro was flat at $1.1132.

The R2030 government bond strengthened 2.5 basis points to 9.16%. Bond yields move inversely to their prices.

European markets were higher as UK voters make their mark in the country’s third election in the past five years, with polls closing there at 10pm. US markets also gained following a dovish statement from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

Oanda senior market analyst Edward Moya said Wednesday’s Fed meeting signalled rates were on hold for the foreseeable future. Fed chair Jerome Powell’s “presser had a dovish tone”, making the dollar vulnerable. “The Fed will remain accommodative as the balance sheet will continue to grow as the Fed remains committed to their liquidity operations that have been keeping short-term rates stable,” he said.

Shortly after the JSE closed, the Dow was up 0.64% to 28,091.21 points. In Europe, the FTSE 100 had gained 0.396%, France’s CAC 40 0.59%. and Germany’s DAX 30 0.74%.

Gold was down 0.51% to $1,466.86/oz, while platinum was up 0.53% to $943.79. Brent crude rose 0.81% to $64.38 a barrel.

The JSE all share gained 0.1% to 55,824.1 points and the top 40 0.13%. Banks dropped 0.15% and financials 0.19%, while the general mining index gained 0.24%, gold miners 1.18% and the platinum index 0.24%.

The general mining index is now up more than 38% in 2019, its best year since 2016.

Gold Fields added 2.09% to R89.71, Harmony 1.13% to R48.39 and AngloGold Ashanti 0.75% to R301.18. The gold index has now gained 95.92% in 2019, its biggest annual rise since 2001.

Platinum stocks have also had a stellar year, with the index soaring 197.03% so far in 2019. This is its biggest gain in at least 24 years.

On Thursday, Sibanye-Stillwater added 1.15% to R34.39, bringing the predominantly platinum miner’s gains for the year to 234.21%, by far the best since it rose 83.33% in its second year of trading in 2014.

General retailers recovered for a second consecutive day after losing more than 2% on Tuesday. The index added 0.29% on Thursday, boosted by a 1.01% gain by Mr Price to R178.33.

Absa fared worst among the big four banks, losing 0.84% to R145.40, while FirstRand added 0.13% to R62.

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