MARKET WRAP: JSE all share closes flat in mixed trade on revised GDP data

The JSE all share closed flat in mixed trade on Monday as resources dropped, but gold and platinum shares recorded gains despite lower commodity prices.

General retailers were the star performers, with the index gaining 2.37%. Trading was subdued for most of the day, however, as the market shrugged off revised gross domestic product (GDP) growth data for the fourth quarter of 2015 to 0.4% from a previous 0.6%.

The data have been revised by Statistics SA to include information on spending in the local economy, something that has previously been the responsibility of the Reserve Bank.

The GDP growth rate for 2015 as a whole remains unchanged at 1.3%, down from an upwardly revised 1.6% (previously 1.5%) and 2.3% (previously 2.2%) in 2014 and 2013 respectively.

In the latest round of comments on expected US interest rate movements, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, James Bullard, said more factors favoured a gradual rate increase versus keeping the rate steady. The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, John Williams, also said he still saw the central bank raising interest rates two to three times this year, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The all share closed 0.02% softer at 52,628.60 points and the blue-chip top 40 added a marginal 0.01%. The gold index closed 0.66% up after the rand weakened toward the close, with banks adding 0.60%. Platinums firmed 0.51%, financials added 0.22% and resources dropped 0.58%.

Market focus was on cement producer PPC which fell as much as 22% after it said it planned to raise between R3bn and R4bn to reduce its debt.

Luxury goods maker Richemont remained under pressure after its year-end results on Friday fell short of market estimates.

PPC ended the day 18% lower at R11.25.

Richemont was off 2.41% to R90.64, after losing 2.5% on Friday.

Among mining shares, Anglo American lost 0.83% to R136.20, with BHP Billiton shedding 1% to R184.42.

AngloGold Ashanti rose 1.24% to R226.75 and Anglo American Platinum added 1.73% to R381.74.

Standard Bank closed 0.95% up at R119.57 after the banking group reported it was a victim of ATM fraud in Japan, resulting in R300m losses for the banking group.

Truworths added 2.94% to R99.85 and The Foschini Group gained 2.53% to R136.

MTN lost 0.72% to R127.47 after it was announced Nigeria was suspending talks about the $3.9bn fine it imposed on the company while further investigations took place.

The rand was weaker against the dollar in late trade after Statistics SA revised gross domestic product growth for the fourth quarter of 2015 down to 0.4% from a previous 0.6%.

The rand also dipped due to the dollar that gained slightly on the possibility of an imminent US interest-rate increase. At 5.39pm‚ the rand was at R15.7464 to the dollar from R15.6709 at its previous close.

Bonds were little changed despite the softer rand. At 5.41pm, the benchmark R186 bond was bid at 9.390% and offered at 9.380% from Friday’s 9.380%.

South African futures were firmer in late trade, taking their from a positive opening on the Dow.

At 5.43pm CAT, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.16 at 17,528.75 points.

At the same time, the local near-dated Alsi futures market was up 0.17% to 46,841 points, with 19,947 contracts traded from 22,905 previously.

With Madeleine van Niekerk

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