The JSE started the week on the back foot, dipping 0.81% as Naspers and Prosus slumped 7.38% and 5.07% respectively following the completion of a share swap deal that sets up a cross-holding structure and moves majority ownership of their international assets to Amsterdam.
Sasol slipped 5% despite delivering a strong set of results. Stock analyst David Shapiro told the Biznews Power Hour that Sasol is “in far better shape,…but sometimes you have to sell some of the crown jewels to get to that point of survival”.
Platinum counters were mixed, with Impala Platinum (-0.77%), Northam (-0.19%) and Royal Bafokeng (-0.19%) losing, while Wesizwe (+4.17%) and Angloplat (+1.29%) gained. Platinum and palladium lost some shine, with platinum losing 0.6% and palladium dropping 2% on the day.
Gold retained its safe-haven status, gaining just over 0.5% as investors fret about the impact of the Taliban rule in Afghanistan on its neighbours.
MTN gained 8.51% after announcing it is taking complete control of aYo, a mobile micro-insurance joint venture with SA’s third-biggest insurer Momentum Metropolitan. The insurer is exiting the partnership. The mobile operator also announced that former CEO Phuthuma Nhleko is stepping down from the group’s advisory role as he prepares to chair the board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Massmart added 5.88%, tracking gains in parent Walmart as the stock sprung back to life ahead of its second-quarter earnings report on Tuesday.
Absa gained a mere 1.59% after posting a fivefold jump in headline earnings for the half-year to June. Firstrand added 3.51%, Capitec added 3.38%, Standard Bank 2.34% and Nedbank 1.38%.
Financial services group Sasfin surged 6.28% after announcing it expects an over 100% improvement in annual profits to end-June 2021 from a loss in the previous corresponding period.
In the currency market, the rand was trading sideways in dull trade, with the focus turning to the FOMC minutes on Wednesday as a catalyst to get some volatility. “The Delta variant of the coronavirus that is prevalent worldwide keeps a risk-off mood intact,” comments TreasuryONE. The unit was last trading at R14.82 against the greenback.
“We have also seen the overnight funding market running a bit of a cash shortage as the Prosus/Naspers share swap deal is distorting this,” adds the forex trading house.
In the oil market, Brent Crude is lower on the back of fears over the rapid spreading of the Delta variant, closing the day down 1.5% at $69.
Indicators as at 17:00
Equities and bonds
US 10 Year 1.24%
S&P 500 -0.62%
Gold $1 788.67
Plat $1 017.98
Plad $2 589.63
Rhod $18 990.00
Irid $5 290.00
Copp $9 408.00
Iron Ore 62.5% $167.95
Coal API4 $141.00
Gold ZAR R26 434.93
Plat ZAR R15 044.83
Indicators brought to you by TreasuryONE