Global markets including the JSE tumbled on Monday as pessimism over the state of the global economy remained rife.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng tumbled 4.18% while the Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite Index were closed. Deep losses were recorded across most European benchmarks except the FTSE 100 which managed to trade relatively flat on the day.
The Dow Jones and S&P500 indices opened softer on the day while the Nasdaq held onto marginal gains. The pessimism has also been induced by the rhetoric over China’s role in the spread of the coronavirus mainly from the USA. Factory orders data out of the US also caused some panic as it fell more than expected in March.
On the currency market, the rand found some momentum after having pulled back in the prior session. The rand peaked at a session high of R18.60/$ before it was recorded trading 0.87% firmer at R18.67/$at 17.00 CAT.
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Listed property stocks recorded some of the day’s biggest declines as stocks such as Hammerson [JSE:HMN] tumbled 12% to close at R14.22, Redefine Properties [JSE:RDF] lost 10.13% to close at R2.04,while Vukile Property Fund [JSE:VKE] fell 6.47% to close at R5.06.
Weakness was recorded for banks such as Absa [JSE:ABG] which lost 8.03% to close at R83.97, as well as Nedbank [JSE:NED] which lost7.65% to close at R99.01. Motus Holdings [JSE:MTH] fell 6.67% as it closed at R28.00, while Barloworld [JSE:BAW] closed 5.05% lower at R64.53. Oil and gas producer, Sasol [JSE:SOL] tumbled 6.2% to close at R81.85, while commodity trading giant Glencore [JSE:GLN] lost 5.59% to close at R32.24.
Declines were also recorded for Old Mutual [JSE:OMU] which lost 5.29% to close at R12.71, and Impala Platinum[JSE:IMP] which closed at R106.00 after falling 5.53%. Gains were elusive for most stocks in today’s session as only a handful of stocks managed to record decent gains.
EPP NV [JSE:EPP] closed as one of the day’s biggest gainers after the share climbed 8.19%to close at R5.68. Gold miners had a buoyant session as gains were recorded for Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] which added 7.08% to close at R73.69, Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] which surged 5.86% to close at R150.13, and DRD Gold [JSE:DRD] which closed at R17.86 after adding 3.48%. Tsogo Sun Gaming [JSE:TSG] rallied 7.28% to close at R2.80, and Aspen Pharmacare [JSE:APN] gained 3.59% to close at R119.79. The JSE Top-40 index eventually closed 2.36% lower while the JSE All-Share index lost 2.28%.
The Financials index was the biggest casualty of the day after it lost 4.8%, while the Industrials and Resources indices fell 1.67% and 2.34% respectively.
At 17.00 CAT, Gold was 0.08% firmer at $1701.78/Oz, Platinum was 0.31% softer at $763.91/oz, and Palladium had lost 2.08% to trade at $1701.78/Oz.Brent crude was trading 0.38% weaker at $26.34/barrel just after the JSE close.
Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group