JSE wrap | Local stocks firmer as inflation slows

The local bourse inched higher on Wednesday as global stocks took a breather following consecutive sessions of weakness.

The rebound in global stocks was primarily on the back of a jolt in crude oil prices following extensive declines since Monday. Strong gains were primarily recorded in Europe and the USA where stocks rose by more than 1{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} on average.

The outlook was rather mixed in Asia where the Nikkei shed 0.74{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2}, while the Shanghai Composite Index and the Hang Seng inched up 0.82{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} and 0.42{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} respectively.

Locally, Statistics South Africa released inflation data for the month of March which came in lower than anticipated. CPI YoY which was recorded at 4.1{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} from a prior recording of 4.6{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2}, while CPI MoM was recorded at 0.3{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} from a prior recording of 0.5{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2}.

On the back of this data the rand traded at R18.71/$, however, by 17:00 CAT it was at R18.94/$.

On the JSE, Sibanye Stillwater [JSE:SSW] released its suite of annual statements and a no change statement, which saw the stock rally 9.49{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R32.30. Gold miners were buoyant in Wednesday’s session led by gains in Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] which advanced 9.16{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R133.60, as well as Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] which climbed 6.21{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R57.83.

Retailers advanced on the back of the firmer rand as gains were recorded for The Foschini Group [JSE:TFG] which added 2.88{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R75.40, and Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK] which advanced 3.34{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R59.09. Mining giant Anglo American PLC [JSE:AGL] rose 1.14{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R315.05, while BHP Group [JSE:BHP] advanced 1.44{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R293.25. Sasol [JSE:SOL] also staged a recovery as it closed at R58.84 after gaining 6.94{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2}.

Zeder Investments [JSE:ZED] was trading ex-special dividend on Wednesday, therefore it declined 57.32{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R1.75. Listed property stocks constituted the bulk of the day’s biggest losers as declines were recorded for Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] which fell 11.02{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R1.13, Emira Property Fund [JSE:EMI] which lost 8.83{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R6.40, and Growthpoint Properties [JSE:GRT] which closed at R13.00 after losing 4.97{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2}.

As for financials, Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] lost 4.26{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R92.57, and Nedbank [JSE:NED] lost 3{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R87.59. Losses were also recorded for Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX] which lost 3.03{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to close at R102.31, and for Discovery Ltd [JSE:DSY] which closed at R80.30 after losing 2.3{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2}.

The JSE All-share index eventually closed 1.01{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} firmer while the JSE Top-40 index gained 1.17{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2}. The financials index came under pressure as it lost 1.15{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2}, while the industrials and resources indices gained 0.54{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} and 3.14{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} respectively.

The recovery in brent crude prices saw the commodity trading 7.04{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} higher at $20.69/barrel just after the JSE close.

At 17:00 CAT, platinum was flat at $748.97/Oz, palladium was up 0.94{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} at $1 949.87/Oz, and gold had gained 1.32{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} to trade at $1 708.68/Oz.

* Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group.

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