JSE slides to 10-week low

The JSE slid to a 10-week low on Thursday‚ bringing losses from the week to a heady 4%‚ as investors filed out of stocks from a range of sectors‚ including resources‚ industrials and financials.

“There are a lot variables playing out in the market‚” said Craig Pheiffer‚ chief investment strategist at Absa Stockbrokers & Portfolio Management‚ pointing to the shock local GDP data and the pending decision by Moody’s on SA’s debt rating.

The all share was off 0.51% to 51‚854.1 points at lunchtime‚ its weakest since March 27‚ and broadly underperformed against its major Asian and European counterparts.

Pressure continued to build on the insurance stocks‚ particularly MMI‚ whose share price has dropped 13% since an operational update on Tuesday‚ wiping off just more than R4bn of its market value.

Telkom has also been marked down quite sharply following the release of its year-end results earlier this week‚ with Pheiffer attributing a 10% drop in its share price this week to the telecoms group’s heavy reliance on its fixed-line business.

Private equity group Brait‚ which is partly owned by billionaire retail tycoon Christo Wiese‚ was under renewed pressure after one its UK companies‚ New Look‚ reported disappointing results this week.

Europe’s leading markets were higher at midday as UK voters went to the polls‚ in what is expected to be a close contest between Prime Minister Theresa May‚ who represents the Conservative Party‚ and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

In the US‚ public testimony from former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey could unleash fresh problems for President Donald Trump’s administration ahead of the independent inquiry into his ties with Russia‚ which might have swung the November election in his favour.

Among some stocks on the JSE‚ petrochemical group Sasol shed 2.76% to R368.30 as the price of Brent crude languished at $48.35 a barrel. Steel producer ArcelorMittal was off 6.51% to R6.32.

Insurer MMI was off 3.54% to R19.64‚ with Santam dropping 2.24% to R239.50.

Industrial group Steinhoff was off 1.68% to R64.40‚ with Pick n Pay losing 2.92% to R56.90. Bidvest gave up 3.4% to R161.37 and Brait lost 2.23% to R69.86‚ bringing losses this week to 10%. Telkom dropped 3.95% to R67.81.

Sibanye was up 2.46% to R16.66 while Implats shed 3.21% to R35.33 and Lonmin losing 5.06% to R12.02

Tiso Black Star Group/BusinessLIVE

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