South Africa Stocks Edge Higher on Bank Gains, Richemont Upgrade

South Africa’s main stock benchmark erased earlier losses to edge 0.1% higher as of 10:22 a.m. in Johannesburg, bolstered by gains among banks, and after market heavyweight Richemont was boosted by a Morgan Stanley upgrade.

Friday’s advance was tempered by weakness in mining stocks that reflected mixed equities trading in Asia, as investors weighed fading prospects for a stimulus deal in Washington against disappointing U.S. jobs data. The South African gauge is less than 0.1% lower for since Monday, poised for the first weekly drop in three.

Tech investor and market giant Naspers Ltd. was the biggest contributor to the morning’s gains, climbing 1.7% and tracking a similar rise in partly owned Chinese internet behemoth Tencent Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong. Naspers unit Prosus NV, which holds the 31% Tencent stake, rose 1%.

Global luxury retailer Richemont advances for a third day, rising 0.3% after Morgan Stanley analysts upgraded the stocks to overweight on optimism over demand in China.

  • NOTE: Richemont to Benefit From Growing China Demand for Jewels: MS
  • Sasol Ltd. advanced for the fourth consecutive day, up 3.7% to the highest intraday level in more than two weeks, as oil prices headed for a weekly gain amid a vaccine-driven rally
  • Index of bank stocks rose 1.2% as renewed dollar weakness buoyed the rand.
    • NOTE: Rand Set for 6th Weekly Gain Before Auction: Inside South Africa
    • Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. +3.8%
      • NOTE: Capitec Capital Adequacy Ratio for Tier 1 at 30.7% in 3Q
    • FirstRand Ltd. +0.9%, Standard Bank Group Ltd. +0.6%, Absa Group Ltd. +0.6%, Nedbank Group Ltd. +1%, Investec Plc +0.8%
  • The gauge of mining stocks retreated 0.6% amid widespread weakness among iron ore, gold and platinum producers
    • Anglo American Plc -1.4% to cause the biggest drag on the benchmark index.
    • AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. -1.6%, Gold Fields Ltd. -1.5%, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. -0.7%, Harmony Gold Mining Co. -2.7%, Northam Platinum Ltd. -1%, Glencore Plc -1.3%
  • MTN Group Ltd. fell 2.5%, dragging the index for mobile telecommunications down for the fourth consecutive day, down 1.5%
  • NOTE: MTN, Airtel Ordered to Suspend Nigerian SIM Card Sales
    • MTN peers Vodacom Group Ltd. +0.1%, Blue Label Telecoms Ltd. +0.8%
  • Foreigners were net buyers of South African stocks for a fifth consecutive day Thursday, purchasing 472 million rand worth of shares, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd. That’s the longest stretch of net foreign inflows since May.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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