SA stocks decline as global virus concerns damp sentiment

South Africa’s main stock benchmark dropped for a third day, down 0.4% by 9:55 a.m. in Johannesburg, dragged lower by miners and banks in a risk-off session.

The market followed Asian peers in tumbling Friday, as surging coronavirus cases fanned concern that tougher curbs may hamper the economic recovery without further stimulus. Sentiment toward riskier assets worsened after the world’s top central bankers warned that the prospect of a vaccine isn’t enough to put an end to the economic challenges created by the pandemic.


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Friday’s weakness trimmed the benchmark’s weekly gain to 0.8%, still set to rise for a second week in a row.

Johannesburg’s index of mining stocks retreated 0.6%, as platinum and gold companies dropped and diversified miners fell.

  • Anglo American -0.4%, Sibanye Stillwater -1.4%, Impala Platinum Holdings -1.2%, Gold Fields -0.9%, BHP -0.2%, Northam Platinum -1.7%, Anglo American Platinum -0.4%, Exxaro Resources -0.5%.

An index of bank stocks dropped for a second day, down 1.8% as the rand traded lower against the dollar.

  • FirstRand -1.4%, Standard Bank -1.4%, Absa -2.7%, Nedbank -2.9%, Capitec -0.3%, Investec -1.5%.
  • Insurers fall 2.8%.
    • Sanlam -2.2%, Old Mutual -3.1%, Discovery -2.3%, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings -2.4%, Liberty Holdings -1.9%.

Index giant Naspers gained for a second day, up 0.9% to provide biggest boost to the market, as partly owned Chinese internet behemoth Tencent Holding rose in Hong Kong after releasing its earnings Thursday.

Foreigners turned net sellers of South African stocks for the first time in six days Thursday, disposing of R390 million worth of shares, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd.

© 2020 Bloomberg