South Africa’s main stock benchmark traded broadly neutral as of 10:08 a.m. in Johannesburg, as advances by index giants Naspers, BHP, Richemont, which make up 40% of market capitalisation, offset weakness among precious metal miners and banks.
One hundred-and-three of the 142 listed companies traded lower in the morning. Before Tuesday, the index fell for five consecutive sessions, the longest losing streak since May 2019.
South Africa’s negative performance since last week falls in line with markets in Asia and Europe, as investors weigh the dimming outlook for further US fiscal stimulus, rising Covid-19 cases in a number of nations and expected market volatility around the presidential election. US-China tensions are also simmering, with doubts emerging over whether Oracle Corp.’s deal with TikTok will win US and Chinese government assent.
Gold and platinum companies dragged the gauge for miners down 0.6%:
- Gold Fields was down 2.8%, Impala Platinum -4.4%, Sibanye Stillwater -2%, AngloGold Ashanti -0.9%, Exxaro Resources -5.1%, and Anglo American -0.2%.
The rand fell for a third day, dragging the index for bank stocks down 1%. Banking stocks have been sliding for four straight sessions, the longest losing streak since June 24:
- FirstRand was down 0.7%, Capitec -0.8%, Standard Bank -0.6%, Absa -1.3%, Nedbank -1.1%, and Investec Plc -1.4%.
General retailers dropped 1.1% while food and drug sellers retreated 0.3%.
- Woolworths was down 1.3%, Mr Price -1.6%, Truworths -3.4%, Foschini -1.5%, and Advtech -1.7%.
- Bid Corp was down 1.1%, Pick n Pay -1.3%, Clicks Group -0.4%, Spar -0.6%, Shoprite -0.2%, and Dis-Chem -1.1%.
Insurers were down 1.4%:
- Old Mutual was down 2.4%, Sanlam -1.1%, Discovery -2%, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings -1%, and Liberty -2.1%.
Sasol rose 1.4% after the company said the sale of its base chemicals unit wasn’t affected by the recent hurricane.
Foreigners were net sellers of South African stocks for a third day on Monday, disposing of R962 million worth of shares, according to index operator, JSE Ltd.