MARKET WRAP: JSE hits a two-month low in cautious trade

LOSSES on almost all the JSE’s major indices sent the local currency to its worst level since early October on Tuesday‚ despite the continued recovery by embattled retailer Steinhoff.

The JSE hit an intra-day low of 57‚315 points‚ with market heavyweight Naspers the primary culprit‚ which ended the day off 3.42% at R3 500.

Local and global market activity was somewhat subdued by upcoming risk events. These include a US Federal Reserve monetary policy statement on Wednesday‚ and the forthcoming ANC elective conference.

Alleged accounting irregularities at Steinhoff also continue to weigh on the market‚ having placed increased focus on corporate governance issues in SA. The retailer added 25.78% to R11.76‚ having almost doubled in value so far this week.

The local currency failed to give the market direction‚ having remained stable since Monday‚ but analysts warn volatility could pick up in coming days.

Portfolio inflows to emerging markets overall had faltered so far in December‚ partially as a result of poor showings by SA‚ Hungary and Chile‚ said Capital Economics researchers.

The all-share closed 0.82% lower at 57‚523.60 points and the blue-chip top 40 lost 0.77%. The gold index gave up 2.55%‚ platinum 2.44%‚ industrials 1.21%‚ banks 1.19%‚ general retailers 0.93%‚ food and drug retailers 0.83%‚ and financials 0.61%. Resources rose 0.11%.

Niche financial groups continue to be hammered by their exposure to Steinhoff‚ with Anchor Group down 9.31% to R3.70‚ and Sygnia 3.53% to R13.40.

Steinhoff Africa Retail lost 5.61% to R15.82.

PSG closed 3.25% lower at R242.30 and Brait 1.32% at R37.99.

Gold Fields shed 2.44% to R50.82 and Impala Platinum 3.49% to R30.40.

Standard Bank lost 2.26% to R167.57 and Alexander Forbes 6.25% to R6.

Nepi Rockcastle climbed 1.35% to R215.88.

After recovering on Monday‚ troubled technology group EOH shed 4.98% to R49.01; it is down 70% for the year.

At 5.40pm‚ the Dow was up 0.39%‚ while in Europe‚ the CAC 40 had added 0.59%‚ the FTSE 100 0.45%‚ and the DAX 30 0.23%.

Platinum had lost 1.39% to $879.16 an ounce and gold 0.4% to $876. Brent crude had fallen 0.37% to $64.47‚ having recently been lifted by news that a key pipeline in the North Sea has closed for urgent and unexpected repairs.

The top-40 Alsi ( All-Share Index) futures fell 0.67% to 51 462 points. The number of contracts traded was 22‚083 from Monday’s 19 930.

– BusinessLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.

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