MARKET WRAP: JSE little changed in subdued trade, as miners offset fall in Naspers

The JSE was little changed on Monday, despite stronger global markets, while emerging-market assets continued to face headwinds.

Volumes were low at about R12bn compared with the daily average of R20bn, with German markets closed for a bank holiday.

Focus remained on rising US treasury yields and geopolitical risk, which has recently prompted a sell-off of local equities by foreigners.

The dollar’s recent rally continued on Monday, buoyed by an announcement that US and Chinese officials had agreed to suspend various tariffs, as they continue to renegotiate terms of trade between their respective countries.

A weaker rand helped lift miners, while both the Dow and Asian markets registered a strong performance.

Commodities had been a big casualty of the escalating trade war between the US and China, but were now set to be a major beneficiary of Beijing’s pledge to import more American goods, said SP Angel analysts.

The all share closed 0.03% up at 57,821.20 points and the top 40 gained 0.04%. Resources rose 1.14%, the platinum index 0.93%, financials 0.23% and general retailers 0.18%. Food and drug retailers lost 1.39%, industrials 0.56%, property 0.5% and banks 0.28%.

Anglo American gained 1.97% to R326.30.

Barloworld slipped 1.89% to R156 despite reporting total interim headline earnings a share to end-March rose 32% to 481c.

Pioneer Foods dropped 1.01% to R104.36 after it reported interim headline earnings to end-March rose 30% to R592m, from an expected 22%-32%.

Capitec gained 0.96% to R844.63, despite yet another critical Viceroy Research report.

Steinhoff International plummeted 6.11% to R1.69 as the market mulled the outcome of Friday’s presentation to lenders in London.

Steinhoff Africa Retail dropped 2.79% to R17.10.

Naspers closed 0.67% lower at R3,180.13.

Verimark slumped 11.21% to R1.03, ahead of its results for the year to end-February on Tuesday. The company said in April it expected HEPS to rise by between 22.8% and 42.8% for the period.

At 6pm the Dow was up 1.04% to 24,973.56 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 had gained 1.1% and the CAC 40 0.41%.

At the same time gold was 0.28% lower at $1,289.35 an ounce while platinum was up 0.72% to $892.22. Brent crude had risen 0.32% to $78.87 a barrel.

The top 40 Alsi futures index was 0.24% down to 51,519 points. The number of contracts traded was 16,666 from Friday’s 18,978.