JSE closes higher on banks and retailers as market awaits S&P announcement

The JSE closed higher on Friday with banks and retailers recovering after being sold off in the previous session, and as the market kept an eye on S&P Global Ratings’s announcement on SA’s creditworthiness later in the evening.

No changes are expected to the BB long-term foreign-currency rating, the BB+ long-term local-currency rating, or the stable outlook.

Economic prospects, the main reason for the rating downgrades in 2017, have improved, said TreasuryOne dealer Wichard Cilliers. “Despite S&P’s real GDP growth forecast for 2018 doubling to 2%, the fiscal position has yet to strengthen significantly and structural reforms were only just starting.” He said, therefore, ratings upgrades or changes in outlook were not expected, yet.

Globally, risk-averse trade abated somewhat following North Korea’s muted response to Trump’s canceling of the proposed Singapore summit next month. North Korean officials said in a statement they remained willing “to sit down face-to-face with the US and resolve issues any time and in any format”, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Equity markets around the world closed broadly lower on Thursday after Trump accused North Korea of “open hostility” toward the US, just as the US commerce department said the US administration was considering new tariffs on vehicle and automotive-parts imports, the newswire said.

Brent crude was sharply lower after Russia indicated it might relax current oil supply curbs in conjunction with oil cartel Opec members. Brent crude was last seen off 3.07% at $76.31 a barrel, which dragged local global miners lower.

The all share closed 0.38% higher at 56,917 points and the top 40 gained 0.39%. General retailers rose 3.63%, banks 2.26%, food and drug retailers 1.61%, financials 1.38%, and industrials 0.6%. The platinum index shed 2.44%, gold 1.51% and resources 1.18%.

The all share ended the week 1.54% lower, its worst one-week performance in two months.

Sasol dropped 1.89% to R464.01.

Sibanye-Stillwater slumped 5.13% to R7.59 and Lonmin 4.69% to R7.12.

FirstRand rose 2.31% to R61.50 and Standard Bank 1.83% to R206.84.

Massmart recovered 4.35% to R120, Woolworths 3.77% to R60.90 and TFG 5.81% to R190.45.

Steinhoff International lost 2.01% to R1.46 but Steinhoff Africa Retail (Star) rose 1.65% to R17.90.

Murray & Roberts was 0.29% lower at R17.20 after Aton raised its bid for the group by 13% to R17 per share, on Friday morning, from R15. Aveng shed 10.42% to 43c.

Tiger Brands rose 1.34% to R337.77 after falling nearly 5% on Thursday following disappointing interim results.

The top 40 Alsi futures index gained 0.66% to 50,899 points. It ended the week 1.64% up. The number of contracts traded was 17,901 from Thursday’s 21,635.

Source: businesslive.co.za