JSE firms a little as miners cheer weaker rand

Miners and rand hedges helped lift the JSE a little on Tuesday, with the rand weaker ahead of what could be a volatile few sessions.

The US-China trade war continues to dominate the spotlight, with Asian markets pushing a little higher on Tuesday after US officials said they would grant a number of temporary exceptions to the blacklisting of Huawei. This has given a number of suppliers and customers a reprieve against tough trade penalties imposed by the US, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

The rand was slightly weaker on Tuesday morning as well, helping to support local miners. The rand was reacting to a stronger dollar, boosted by the softer tone regarding Huawei.

There were also a number of positive earnings reports to cheer the JSE, with MMI jumping 4.56% to R18.10 after saying that diluted normalised headline earnings, its main earnings measure, rose 19% to R2.4bn in the nine months to end-March.

At 10am the all share was up 0.3% to 55,784.7 points and the top 40 0.33%. Food and drug retailers were up 0.89%, the resources index 0.56% and industrials 0.28%.

The rand was 0.51% weaker at R14.4584/$. Gold and platinum had lost 0.16% to $1,275.65/oz and $813.04 respectively. Brent crude was flat at $72 a barrel.

Diversified miner Glencore was up 0.88% to R50.46 and BHP 0.9% to R329.95.

Sasol had fallen 0.66% to R431.09.

Rand hedge AB InBev had gained 0.78% to R1,181.56 and Richemont 0.68% to R104.88.

Shoprite had added 1.04% to R171.38.

BidCorp was up 1.74% to R287.98, having said earlier that although costs were rising in its current operating environment, it was seeing real sales growth and its margins were steady.

The week ahead is busy, including both local inflation data for March on Wednesday, as well as a Reserve Bank interest rate decision on Thursday.

Local politics could also generate volatility, with markets waiting for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new cabinet picks, which could generate market speculation as to how far he will get with his promised reform agenda.

[email protected]

Source: businesslive.co.za