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SA stocks set for first weekly drop of 2021; Sasol jumps

Foreigners remained net sellers of South African stocks for a seventh consecutive session Thursday, disposing of R56 million worth of shares.
Image: Bloomberg

South Africa’s main stocks index was poised to halt a four-week rally that saw it post eight record closes since the start of the year and was headed for its first weekly drop of 2021.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index fell 1.4% as of 10:04 a.m. in Johannesburg, dropping for a third day this week, as weakness in miners and banks overwhelmed gains in index heavyweights Naspers and Sasol.

Global stocks are set for their worst weekly slide in about three months, partly on the turmoil caused by hoards of day-traders hatching stock bets that roiled hedge funds and strained trading platforms. South African stocks are still up 5.3% in January, on track for a third monthly advance, the longest such winning stretch since July.

Diversified miners BHP and Anglo American lead the broader gauge of mining stocks lower, with the index falling 1.4%.

BHP -2%, Anglo American -1.5%, Exxaro -1.6%, Glencore -0.2% African Rainbow Minerals -0.6%.

Platinum stocks retreated 1.9%.

Anglo American Platinum -4.2%, Impala Platinum Holdings -2.1%, Northam Platinum -3.6%, Sibanye Stillwater -0.5%, Royal Bafokeng Platinum -1.7%.

Gold stocks rose a second day as bullion prices gained.

AngloGold Ashanti +0.8%, Harmony Gold Mining +0.9%, DRDGold +0.6%.

An index of bank stocks halted a three-day rally, dropping 1.9% as risk-off sentiment dominated.

FirstRand -2.1%, Standard Bank -2.2%, Absa Group -1.6%, Capitec -1.2%, Nedbank -1.7%, Investec -0.6%.

Insurers were also lower.

Sanlam -2.9%, Old Mutual -2.5%, Discovery -2.2%, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings -1.7%, Liberty -2.9%.

Food and drug retailers dropped 2.2%, while general retailers retreated 1.5%.

Clicks -3.7%, Bid Corp -2%, Shoprite Holdings Ltd. -1.5%, Spar -2.1%, Pick n Pay -1.1%.

Mr Price -2.7%, Woolworths -2.6%, Foschini -1.3%, Truworths International -0.9%, Pepkor -1.4%, Massmart Holdings -3.4%.

Tech investor Naspers gained 1.1% as partly owned Tencent rallied in Hong Kong.

Sasol rose as much as 14% before paring the gains to 7.7%, after the fuel and chemicals company said it sees earnings more than tripling in the first half. Sasol provided the biggest boost to the overall benchmark index.

Foreigners remained net sellers of South African stocks for a seventh consecutive session Thursday, disposing of R56 million worth of shares, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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Financials with the exception of Capitec, Santam and Sanlam look dirty cheap even by emerging market standards.

Plus some Telcos and retailers.

End of comments.

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