The JSE staged a mild retreat on Monday‚ as last week’s euphoria around the local political transition subsided.
The all-share was down 0.40% to 58 885.80 points at lunchtime‚ as traders cashed in on some stock gains made last week‚ when the benchmark gauge had its best week in two years.
The confirmation of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new head of state‚ replacing scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma‚ had fuelled the rally in locally oriented shares in particular‚ signalling optimism about the economy.
Consumer discretionary stocks such as Lewis rose as much as 21% last week‚ coinciding with a rand that hit a three-year high to the dollar before subsequently pulling back.
The short-term catalyst could come from the budget‚ which Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will table on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa confirmed during his maiden state of the nation address that the government would roll out fee-free higher education for poor households.
TreasuryOne currency dealer Phillip Pearce said in an e-mailed note that the county’s finances were still a concern‚ citing the projected R50.8bn budget deficit and the burden of funding free higher education.
Europe’s leading markets were little changed at midday‚ following a positive session in Asia‚ where Japans’ Nikkei 225 gained 1.97%.
Still‚ the shutting of China‚ Hong Kong and US markets because of public holidays drained liquidity.
African Rainbow Minerals slipped 2.97% to R127.40‚ AngloGold Ashanti 2.65% to R120.91 and Gold Fields 2.34% to R47.65.
But Anglo American Platinum gained 2.52% to R352.96‚ after declaring a dividend for the first time in six years. Impala Platinum gained 3.72% to R33.71.
Unsecured lender Capitec rebounded 1.71% to R835‚ trimming the year-to-date losses to about 24%.
Diversified industrial group Bidvest was up 1.55% to R253.22 while Barloworld lost 1.69% to R181.40.
Truworths International was up 3.8% to R110.37 but Shoprite Holdings slipped 1.94% to R248.71.
Telkom gained 2.73% to R50.85 while EOH lost 3.88% to R62.45. Naspers slipped 1.7% to R3‚327.96.
Source: TMG Digital.