JSE opens stronger as weak rand boosts rand hedges

The JSE opened firmer on Monday as rand hedges rallied on the weaker rand.

The rand weakened through the important resistance level of R13.60/$‚ touching R13.6435/$ in early morning trade. It was 1% weaker against the British pound at R17.78.

At 9.35am‚ the all share was 0.39% higher at 52‚977.90 points and the blue-chip top 40 added 0.60%. Industrials led the pack‚ adding 0.91%. The gold index shed 2.05% and platinums lost 1.03%. General retailers were down 0.99%.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 0.24% weaker on Friday. Asian markets started the week in mixed fashion. The Nikkei 225 was 0.32% higher and the Hang Seng lost 0.42%.

More hawkish views expressed by US Federal Reserve officials at the end of last week boosted the dollar in risk-off trade‚ causing emerging-market currencies to retreat in risk-off trade. Earlier in the week‚ the rand and the JSE‚ mainly on retail and banking shares‚ gained in a risk-on environment.

The view that US rates would be “lower for longer” was slightly dented at the end of last week as US Federal Reserve officials hinted at higher rates in the months ahead‚ Momentum SP Reid in an early morning note on Monday.

Some profit-taking on shares benefiting from a stronger rand was to be expected‚ Momentum said.

Rand hedges finding support from the softer rand include British American Tobacco‚ gaining 2.49% to R875‚ and SABMiller‚ climbing 1.54% to R777.86.

Among global miners‚ Glencore retreated 1.38% to R32.90.

AngloGold Ashanti was 2.34% lower at R254.90.

Among banks‚ Standard Bank softened 0.70% to R148.99.

Naspers added 1.81% to R2‚318.98‚ just under previous record levels.

Sun International was 1.78% lower at R90.50. It reported that annual ebitda (earnings before interest‚ tax‚ depreciation and amortisation) to end June increased 4% to R3.2bn.

— TMG Digital/BDlive

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