MARKET WRAP: JSE edges higher, led by recovery in retailers

The JSE crept higher on Friday, but ended the week more than 1.5% lower, with local stocks on the day benefiting slightly from cooling fears of escalating fuel costs.

Brent crude fell more than 3% on news Russia and oil cartel Opec could soon move to raise production.

After an almost 4% fall on Thursday, general retailers recovered 3.63%. The index has now lost 10.68% so far in May.

A dismal Massmart trading update on Thursday prompted the sell-off in the retail sector, although the share recovered 4.35% to R120 on Friday, but ended the week 14.29% lower.

Banks firmed 2% on the day, led by a strong performance from Capitec, which earlier in the week was on the receiving end of yet another critical report from Viceroy Research.

Global markets were subdued on Friday, with analysts citing a long weekend in the US as the reason, although the Dow opened lower as energy counters were sold off.

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.

Woolworths gained 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. In a late announcement after markets closed, the latter warned headline earnings per share (HEPS) could fall as much as 53.1% in the six months to end-March.

Tongaat Hulett added 3.87% to R87, ahead of results for the year to end-March on Monday. The company said earlier in May that HEPS were expected to decline 37% due to foreign competition and lower international sugar prices.

At 5.40pm, the Dow was off 0.14% to 24,777.02 points, while in Europe, the DAX 30 had gained 0.44% and the FTSE 100 0.16%, while the CAC 40 had fallen 0.18%.

At the same time, Brent crude had slumped 3.08% to $76.30 a barrel. Platinum had fallen 1.04% to $900.37 an ounce, while gold was flat at $1,304.99.

The top 40 Alsi futures gained 0.66% to 50,899 points, having lost 1.44% in the week. The number of contracts traded was 17,901 from Thursday’s 21,635.