S. Africa Stocks Pulled Lower as Iron Ore Miners Outweigh Gold

South Africa’s main stock index slides 0.9% by 9:53 a.m. in Johannesburg, missing out on the gains seen in much of Asia after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments that policy would remain accommodative and shift to a more relaxed approach on inflation.

The benchmark South African index showcased broad-based weakness, led by the country’s biggest listed companies, Naspers Ltd., BHP Plc, and Richemont, which account for 39% of market capitalization. Of the 150 listed companies, 79 were lower in early trade, while a further 30 were unchanged. Iron ore miners slid while gold producers gained amid inreased demand for bullion.

Friday’s losses trim the benchmark index’s weekly gains to 0.8%. South African stocks remain on course for a fifth month of gains, with one session left for August.

S. Africa Stocks Pulled Lower as Iron Ore Miners Outweigh Gold
  • Naspers, with a 19% weighting on the index, falls 2.1%, the biggest decline in more than a week for the tech investor.
  • Luxury retailer Richemont falls 0.7%.
  • Index of bank stocks ignores strengthening rand, falls 0.7%.
    • FirstRand Ltd. -1.3%, Standard Bank Group Ltd. -0.6%, Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. -0.8%, Nedbank Group Ltd. -0.8%
  • Iron ore producers decline as rising stockpiles reinforce recent comments by some industry observers about easing market tightness and lower prices.
    • BHP -1.4%, Anglo American Plc -0.4%, Glencore Plc -0.5%, African Rainbow Minerals Ltd. -0.3%, Exxaro resources Ltd. -0.1%
    • Index of gold producers rises 2.6% as bullion gains, with investors weighing the impact of the Federal Reserve’s new approach to setting U.S. monetary policy, with a more relaxed stance on inflation.
    • Index of platinum companies up 0.7%
      • Sibanye Stillwater Ltd. +1.7%, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. +0.3%, Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd. +1.8%
  • Foreigners were net buyers of South African stocks Thursday, purchasing 843 million rand worth of shares, according to bourse operator JSE Ltd.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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