SA stocks
SA stocks

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) closed firmer in quiet trade on Monday, as buyers returned to Asian markets following a flat close on the Dow on Friday.

Banks, financials and retailers were higher at the close of the trading session on a stable South Africa’s rand.

The JSE was eyeing Wednesday’s interest-rate decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve, with the expectation for rates to be kept on hold.

The main emphasis will fall on the Fed’s guidance for the rest of the year, with markets waiting for a more hawkish tone, which could benefit the dollar.

Inflation from the factory gate in South Africa increased by 3.7 percent, down from 4.2 percent. This decline in producer price inflation (PPI) was better than the market forecast of 4 percent.

It indicated that prices from the factory gate are increasing at a slower-than-expected pace, which would be positive for the struggling consumer market in South Africa.

In corporate news, apparel retailer Mr Price indicated it has had a good six months after it revealed to the market that its basic earnings per share would increase by 20 percent to 24 percent.

The JSE top-40 Index was firmer on the day to trade at 51 419.22 points, gaining 1.45 percent from its close yesterday. The broader JSE all share Index was up 1.39 percent to trade at 58 252.12 points.

The Resource20 Index was weaker up 0.82 percent, while the industrial Index was up 1.75 percent as the financial Index eased 1.29 percent. Banks rose 2.21 percent, property 1.73 percent, food and drug retailers 1.77 percent.

The rand, which traded as low as R12.52 to the dollar last week, clawed back some of lost ground to close at R12.46 to the greenback on Monday.

British American Tobacco added 0.62 percent to R680.33. FirstRand rose 1.87 percent to R67.99 and Standard Bank 1.73 percent to R214.32.

Steinhoff slipped 2.04 percent to R1.92.

Growthpoint rose 2.38 percent to R29.23 amid reports the group’s expansion in Eastern Europe was gaining traction.

Nepi Rockcastle rose 2.71 percent to R139.69.

Naspers gained 2.15 percent to R3,059.44.

Sappi dropped 1.89 percent to R79.9. Enditem

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