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SA stocks fall as virus cases surge and US stimulus deal elusive

Index giant Naspers declined for the fourth day, the longest losing streak in more than a month.
Image: Shutterstock

South Africa’s main stock index retreated 0.5% by 9:53 a.m. in Johannesburg as a US stimulus deal remained elusive, damping risk sentiment, and as concerns mounted over surging virus cases in America and Europe.

Locally, investor focus turns to South Africa’s mid-term budget on Wednesday, with economists saying Finance Minister Tito Mboweni may be forced to lay the groundwork for tax increases next year, as the country seeks funds to help it recover from its longest recession in three decades.

Index giant Naspers declined for the fourth day, the longest losing streak in more than a month, providing the biggest drag on the market.

Naspers subsidiary Prosus NV, which holds the South African tech investor’s stake in Tencent, dropped 0.8% as the Chinese internet behemoth fell for a second day in Hong Kong.

Index of bank stocks halts a three-day rally, falls 1.7% as the rand weakens. FirstRand -2.1%, Standard Bank -1.2%, Absa -2.1%, Nedbank -2.3%, Capitec Bank -0.8%, Investec Plc -0.4%.

Diversified miners outweigh gains in gold and platinum companies to lead mining sector index lower, as gauge falls 0.5%.

BHP -1.3%, Anglo American -0.8%, Glencore -1.2%, Pan African Resources -2.5%.

Index of gold stocks gains for the first day in three as rising virus cases boost demand for haven assets, and as a weaker local currency increases the rand price of the metal.

Gold Fields +1.6%, AngloGold Ashanti +0.7%, DRDGold +1.5%.

Index of platinum companies +0.6%, Impala Platinum +1%, Anglo American Platinum +1.1%, Northam Platinum +0.6%, Royal Bafokeng platinum +0.3%.

Foreigners were net sellers of South African stocks for an eighth consecutive session Friday, disposing of R1.25 billion worth of shares, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd.

© 2020 Bloomberg

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What is new? the JSE has been dropping for the past five years,
since December 2015.

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