South Africa Stocks Flat as Rising Covid-19 Cases, Lockdowns Weigh

South African stocks extended its slide for a second day Monday as the country reintroduced tighter lockdown measures to rein-in surging coronavirus infections.

In a televised address Sunday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa moved the country to alert level 4, the national second highest. The restrictions include a ban on the sale of alcohol, and outlawing of public gatherings. The president also directed the closure of schools to curb surging coronavirus infections.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index dropped as much as 0.5%, before paring losses to 0.2% by 1:20 p.m. in Johannesburg, its biggest intraday drop in one week.

Weakness in the rand pulls banks, insurers and retailers lower. Losses from 102 of the 140 listed companies offset gains by market giants Naspers Ltd., BHP Group Plc and Richemont

  • A weaker rand halts a three day rally in bank stocks, which retreat 3.1% to post the biggest intraday decline in a week.
    • NOTE: Rand Falls; New Pandemic Controls Imposed: Inside South Africa
    • FirstRand Ltd. -3.7%, Standard Bank Group Ltd. -3.6%, Absa Group Ltd. -3.6%, Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. -1.4%, Nedbank Group Ltd. -3.7%, Investec Plc -1.6%
  • Insurers track weaker banks, dropping 2.4%
    • Sanlam Ltd. -2.6%, Old Mutual Ltd. -2.5%, Discovery Ltd. -2.6%, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings -1.3%, Liberty Holdings Ltd. -2.9%
  • Index for general retailers drops 2.7%, while that of food and drug sellers retreats 1.9%, the biggest drop in one week
    • Foschini Group Ltd. -3.2%, Mr Price Group Ltd. -1.8%, Woolworths Holdings Ltd. -2.9%, Massmart Holding Ltd. -3.5%, Motus Holdings Ltd. -3.3%, Truworths International Ltd. -5.1%, Pepkor Holdings Ltd. -2.1%
    • Bid Corp Ltd. -2.7%, Shoprite Holdings Ltd. -1.4%, Clicks Group Ltd. -1.3%, Spar Group Ltd. -1.6%, Pick n Pay Stores Ltd. -1.8%
  • Heavyweight Sasol Ltd. drops 3.7%, the biggest decline in more than one week, as market awaits OPEC+ decision on Thursday,
  • Index for telecommunications companies drops for a fifth day, down 1.5% to the lowest level in more than one month
    • MTN Group -1.9%, Vodacom Group Ltd. -1.5%, Telkom SA SOC Ltd. -1.1%, Blue Label Telecoms Ltd. -2.6%
  • Naspers, with a halts a six-day slide, rising 1.9% to provide the biggest boost to the index. Its subsidiary Prosus NV also gains 1.6%
  • Industrial miners rise for a sixth consecutive session, the longest winning streak since in more than two years, as iron ore prices rise.
    • NOTE: Iron Ore Gains as China Industrial Data, Supervision Calls Eyed
    • BHP +1.7%, with miner seen likely to approve Canada potash project in August
    • Glencore Plc +0.1%, African Rainbow Minerals Ltd. +0.4%
  • Foreigners sustained their outflows from the South African stock market for a 15th consecutive day on Friday, disposing 947 billion rand ($67 million) of local equities, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd. That’s the longest stretch of selling since May 2016.
    • NOTE: South African Stock Outflows Hit Longest Run Since 2019: Chart

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