South Africa’s main stock benchmark declined as weakness from index giants Naspers, Richemont, Anglo American Plc and BHP Group Plc offset gains among precious metal miners and banks.
The index was down 1.7% by 9:54 a.m. in Johannesburg, with 94 of the 142 listed companies opening lower. The retreat extends losses for a second week, after the market was closed Thursday for Heritage Day.
South Africa’s weakness comes as global equities markets recover on Friday, with investors weighing the chances of a new American stimulus package against an uptick in global coronavirus cases.
Naspers fell 4%, the biggest intraday decline since September 4, to provide the biggest drag to the index as its partly-owned tech giant Tencent retreated for a second day in Hong Kong. Naspers holds a 31% stake in Tencent through its subsidiary Prosus NV, which is also down 2.7%.
Rand-hedge Richemont fell 3.2%, the biggest intraday drop since July 16.
The index for bank stocks fell 0.8%, shaking off gains in the rand:
- Capitec fell 2%, Absa -1.2%, Standard Bank -0.5%, FirstRand -0.2%, Investec -1.2%, and Nedbank -0.4%.
Gains in gold and platinum producers countered weakness in BHP and Anglo American, driving the gauge for mining firms up 0.2%.
The Sub-index for gold miners rose 3.1%, as bullion prices rebound:
- AngloGold Ashanti rose 4.4%, Harmony Gold +2.3%, DRDGold +3%, and Pan African Resources +0.6%.
The sub-index for platinum firmed up 0.9%.
- Impala Platinum rose 2.3%, Anglo American platinum +1.9%, Royal Bafokeng Platinum +2.4%, and Northam Platinum +0.2%
Foreigners were net sellers of South African stocks for a fifth day on Wednesday, disposing of R20 million worth of shares, according to index operator, JSE Ltd.