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SA stocks resist risk-off slide as Mr Price gains

Foreigners were net sellers of South African shares for a second day Thursday, with outflows of R565 million.
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South Africa’s main stock index edged higher by less than 0.1% as of 9:44 a.m. in Johannesburg, holding out against the risk-off mood that weakened Asian markets in Friday trading as investors responded to increased restrictions and escalating coronavirus infections.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index closed at a record high on Thursday and is up 1% since Monday. It’s set to gain for a fourth week, the longest winning streak in eight months. An MSCI index of emerging-market stocks was 0.8% lower on Friday, trimming its advance this week to 2.7%.

Mr Price jumped as much as 7.7% in a positive reaction to the retailer’s trading update. An index of South African general retailers edged 0.5% higher.

Global tech investor and benchmark behemoth Naspers provided the most support to the overall market, climbing 2% to a record high as partly owned Chinese online giant Tencent Holdings climbed for a third day in Hong Kong in pursuit of a fresh-all time closing high. Prosus NV, which holds Naspers’ 31% stake in Tencent, gained 1.8%.

Global luxury retailer Richemont also boosted the main index, gaining 1% at the end of a week in which it reported a surge in Chinese sales.

Gold stocks rose for a third day for the first time this year, with AngloGold Ashanti adding 1.6% to lead the advance.

Bank stocks weighed on the market as the rand led declines among emerging-market currencies amid the fading rally in risk assets, and a day after South Africa’s central bank left its key lending rate unchanged.

Absa dropped 2.4%, Nedbank fell 2.4%, Standard Bank slipped 2.2%, with FirstRand down 1.8%

Foreigners were net sellers of South African shares for a second day Thursday, with outflows of R565 million ($37.5 million), according to exchange operator JSE Ltd.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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