The rand extended gains‚ touching R11.80 to the dollar for the first time since 2015‚ after the ANC resolved to support a parliamentary motion of no confidence to remove President Jacob Zuma from office.
The latest stance suggests that Zuma is being defiant‚ after the party announced his recall following a special national executive committee meeting on Tuesday.
ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile emphasised that the party wanted to put the matter to rest‚ which would bring certainty to the country. The motion‚ which was tabled by the EFF‚ will be debated on Thursday. Zuma has until the end of the day to resign‚ failing which the parliamentary process will kick in.
“We need a stable political environment‚ apart from addressing long-term structural fiscal concerns‚” said Craig Pheiffer‚ chief investment strategist at Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management.
The stronger rand favoured retail stocks‚ in particular‚ while banks turned positive on the prospect of Zuma’s removal.
Industrials helped keep the JSE in positive territory on Wednesday‚ outweighing the effect of a stronger rand‚ which played out negatively on some of the bigger rand hedges.
The all share was up 0.34% to 57‚401.10 points at lunchtime‚ while the industrial index gained 1.04%.
Europe’s leading markets were higher at midday‚ following a mixed but fairly positive session in Asia‚ where Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 2.27%.
Naspers and Bid Corporation were some of the big gainers‚ despite the stronger currency‚ rebounding from a sharp sell-off in the past couple of weeks. Naspers was up 2.36% to R3‚184.95‚ and Bid Corporation 3.6% to R260.47‚ but Richemont slipped 1.99% to R105.68.
Shoprite rallied 3.36% to R257‚ Spar 2.24% to R212.99‚ and Pick n Pay 3.53% to R72.83.
Truworths gained 3.59% to R105.75‚ TFG 4.67% to R209.34‚ Massmart 4.7% to R144.42‚ Clicks 3.16% to R168.53‚ and Dis-Chem 2.91% to R37.44.
Gold Fields slumped 6.54% to R45.05‚ after earlier reporting a loss in its 2017 financial year. Harmony Gold leapt 8.19% to R22.85‚ continuing its rally from Tuesday when it reported a 49% rise in first-half headline earnings per share. Kumba rose 2.1% to R353.55
Capitec was off 2.91% to R820 while Discovery rose 1.06% to R166.25.
Among property stocks‚ Resilient lost 3.03% to R98.91‚ and Hyprop Investments 2.04% to R109.04.
Source: TMG Digital.