JSE falls on retailers and banks

By Maarten Mittner

The JSE closed weaker on Tuesday as retailers and banks retreated on a falling rand, while miners gained as Brent crude hit $85 a barrel. The all share was lower for most of the day, but pared losses towards the close.

Mining stocks were the star performers on the day, with Brent crude last trading at $84.78 a barrel. The gold price had risen 1.4% to $1,204.20 an ounce and platinum 1.2% to $833.81.

Oil prices rose on the expected boost to the global economy following the trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada.

The rise in oil prices comes as SA grapples with the political implications of increasing fuel costs, with multiple calls for the government to reduce the fuel levy, which presently constitutes about a third of the price at the pump.

The euro lost ground in renewed jitters around Italy. Yields on Italian government debt continued to rise amid concern that the country’s populist government is on a collision course with the EU over budget targets, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The Italian government last week widened its budget-deficit target for the next year to 2.4% of GDP.

BlackRock analysts said in a note that the recent sell-off in emerging markets was & unexpected& and came despite a solid near-term global growth outlook. & We see room for a further recovery in emerging market assets, especially in equities.& The all share closed 0.57% lower at 55,472.60 points and the top 40 lost 0.65%. Banks dropped 1.88%, general retailers 1.73%, financials 1.36% and industrials 1.32%. The gold index rose 4.98%, resources 1.69% and platinums 1.5%.

Group Five rocketed 14.74% to R1.09 despite reporting an operating loss of R1.42bn in year to end-June from R718m in 2017.

Property stocks had a bad day with with the index slipping a level last seen in April 2014, after the shock announcement Hyprop CEO Pieter Prinsloo had resigned.

The rand was last seen at R14.3013 to the dollar from R14.2277, after earlier weakening to R14.4451.

Local bonds showed little sign of improving as the US 10-year treasury yield held above 3.5%.

The R186 was last bid at 9.1% from 9.03%.

This article provided by NewsEdge.