MARKET WRAP: JSE weakens, dragged lower by disappointing corporate results

The JSE fell on Thursday, amid a spate of corporate results, and in line with generally lower world markets.

General retailers led the losses, with Massmart particularly hard hit, after it warned headline earnings per share (HEPS) could be as much as 68% lower to end-March.

Gold miners firmed in safe-haven trade, however, after US President Donald Trump cancelled a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The all share closed 0.6% lower at 56,699.20 points and the top 40 shed 0.5%. General retailers fell 3.81%, food and drug retailers 1.49%, resources 0.92%, financials 0.76%, and banks 0.49%.

Sasol jumped 2.41% to R472.95.

Barclays Africa slipped 1.16% to R158.66.

Life insurer and asset manager MMI fell 3.57% to R19.18. The group said earlier that diluted core headline earnings for the nine months to end-March were down 5% on the prior period.

Massmart ended the day 17.96% lower at R115. On Thursday morning it reported sales growth of 0.8% for the first 19 weeks of the 2018 financial year.

TFG shed 7.37% to R180 after it said net profit grew a muted 3.6% to R2.4bn in the 2018 financial year.

Property group Capital & Counties rose 4.14% to R50.30 in choppy trade. It earlier announced a de-merger on Thursday by splitting the company into two separately listed businesses based around its prime central-London estates. One will focus on Covent Garden and the other on Earls Court.

Tiger Brands dropped 4.58% to R333.29. The group said on Thursday that pre-tax profit from continuing operations fell 18% to R1.9bn in the six months to end-March.

Mediclinic plummeted 8.82% to R103.59 after reporting that annual revenue rose 4% to £2.8bn.

Famous Brands rose 0.78% to R103.60 after reporting headline earnings per share (HEPS) were down 8% for the year to end-February.

At 5.40pm, the Dow was off 0.78% to 24,694.52 points, while in Europe, the DAX 30 was down 0.93%, the FTSE 100 0.72%, and the CAC 40 0.25%.

At the same time, gold had firmed 0.82% to $1,305.30 an ounce and platinum 0.82% to $911.73. Brent crude was down 0.72% to $79.15 a barrel.

The top 40 Alsi futures fell 0.51% to 50,621 points. The number of contracts traded was 21,635 from Wednesday’s 23,304.