South Africa’s main stock index dropped for a second day, slipping 0.4% by 10:21 a.m. in Johannesburg. Friday’s decline left the index little changed on a weekly basis, and trimmed the advance in April to 1.2%, still placing the benchmark on course for a sixth month of gains, the longest such winning streak since July 2014.
A weaker rand pulled banks, insurers and retailers lower, countering gains in local market heavyweights Richemont and Naspers.
South Africa tracked weakness among peers in Asia at the end of the week, as China’s antitrust crackdown weighed on technology firms. Equity markets may be ready for a pause after a month of gains, with investors eyeing more support for the US recovery after President Joe Biden unveiled a $1.8 trillion social package in addition to his infrastructure plans. And there’s no sign yet of the Federal Reserve withdrawing policy accommodation.
The rand weakened against the dollar Friday, pulling an index of bank stocks down 1.4%, the biggest decline in more than a week.
- FirstRand dropped 3%, its biggest intraday decline since April 20, after Remgro offered 40 million of the bank’s shares.
- Standard Bank -1.7%, Absa -1.8%, Nedbank -1.5%, Capitec Bank -0.6%.
Insurers dropped 0.9%.
- Sanlam -0.8%, Old Mutual -0.9%, Discovery -0.6%, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings -1.5%, Liberty Holdings -1.6%.
Industrial miners fell for a third day, slipping 0.5% as the iron ore rally paused.
- Anglo American -0.5%, BHP Group -0.4%, African Rainbow Minerals -1%, Kumba Iron Ore Minerals -0.9%.
Precious metals producers fell 0.8% to the lowest intraday level since March 31, as gold extended its drop for a second day, while platinum miners disregarded price gains.
- Impala Platinum -1.3% after its third quarter production report.
- Sibanye Stillwater -0.4%, Anglo America Platinum -0.6%, AngloGold Ashanti -0.4%, Northam Platinum -0.5%, Harmony Gold -1%, Gold Fields -0.1%, DRDGold -0.8%.
General retailers declined 0.8%, while food and drug sellers slid 0.3%.
- Mr Price -1.1%, Foschini -1.1%, Truworths International -1.8%, Woolworths -1.8%, Pepkor Holdings -0.7%.
- Bid Corp -1%, Clicks -0.1%.
Index heavyweight and luxury goods retailer Richemont gained 0.9% to provide the biggest boost to the market, while Naspers, with a 17% weighting on the benchmark index, edges 0.4% higher, even as partly owned Chinese online giant Tencent Holdings retreated in Hong Kong.
Foreigners were net buyers of South African equities Thursday, purchasing R83 million worth of shares, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd.