JSE opens slightly lower as rand rally loses steam

The JSE opened marginally weaker in mixed trade on Wednesday‚ as global miners softened on the rand.

General retailers were early leaders‚ following Shoprite’s upbeat interim update on Tuesday‚ with Woolworths following suit. Property stocks took a breather after gaining in the previous session.

Gold shares benefited from a weaker dollar in overnight trade‚ but the greenback regained some lost ground early on Wednesday. The gold price was down 0.3% to $1‚344.44/oz.

The market followed a flat close on the Dow‚ which could not hold above 26‚000 points after rocketing more than 1% soon after the market opened. Asian markets trended weaker‚ with the Nikkei 225 losing 0.35% and the Hang Seng 0.07%.

The rand was range-bound after breaking through to R12.19/$ on Tuesday‚ the best level in two-and-a-half years‚ but was weaker at R12.3190/$ on Wednesday morning.

“We did not see any real follow-through after the resistance level was broken‚” Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) analysts said.

At 9.35am the all share was 0.14% lower at 60‚565.60 points and the blue-chip top 40 lost 0.11%. Resources shed 0.64%‚ property 0.57% and financials 0.18%. Food and drug retailers rose 1.03%‚ general retailers 0.53%‚ platinums 0.44% and the gold index 0.3%.

Anglo American was 0.51% off at R291.46 and Kumba Iron Ore 2.94% to R361.06.

Harmony gained 0.7% to R21.54. Harmony said its production in the six months to end-December‚ which mark the interim period in the financial year to end-June‚ was more than 550‚000oz.

Woolworths was up 1.01% to R60 and Shoprite 2.99% to R226.57.

Resilient shed 1.42% to R130.45 and Nepi Rockcastle 0.42% to R189.21.

Adcock Ingram was up 1.06% to R64.14. It said on Tuesday that headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end-December will be at least 27%‚ or 40c‚ higher than the previous period.



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