SA stocks fall as Trump’s positive test spooks markets

South Africa’s main stock index fell as much as 1.2% after US President Donald Trump’s announcement that he tested positive for Covid-19 roiled markets and drove global equities lower.

“A wave of risk-off sentiment swept through global financial markets” after Trump’s news, Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM, wrote in an emailed note.


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Heavyweights BHP, Richemont, Anglo American and Naspers led the local index lower. Friday’s decline trimmed the gauge’s weekly gain to 1%, its first weekly advance in three.

Rand-hedge Richemont fell 2.2%, providing the main drag on the index. Naspers retreated 0.4%, while its subsidiary Prosus NV rose 0.5% to give the biggest boost to the gauge.

The index for resource stocks retreated 1.2% as diversified miners joined gold and platinum producers in retreating.

BHP -1.2%, Anglo American -0.8%, Impala Platinum -3.4%, Northam Platinum -3.4%, Sibanye Stillwater -2.2%, Anglo American Platinum -2%, Harmony Gold -2.6%, AngloGold Ashanti -1%.

A weaker rand drove the index for bank stocks down for the first day in five, falling 2.3%.

Standard Bank -3%, Capitec -2.5%, FirstRand -1.7%, Nedbank -3.6%, Absa -2.4%.

Sasol fell 2.5% after the company agreed to sell a $2 billion stake in its US base-chemicals business to LyondellBasell Industries NV to help pay down debt.

Nampak extended gains to a third day, rising as much as 73% to the highest since March 19. The company announced Wednesday that it had reduced gross debt by 21%.

Foreigners turned net buyers of South African stocks on Thursday, ending a nine-day net outflow. Investors purchased R487 million worth of shares, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd.

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