South African Stocks Fall as Virus Cases Surge and U.S. Stimulus Deal Elusive

South Africa’s main stock index retreated 0.5% by 9:53 a.m. in Johannesburg as a U.S. stimulus deal remained elusive, damping risk sentiment, and as concerns mounted over surging virus cases in America and Europe.

Locally, investor focus turns to South Africa’s mid-term budget on Wednesday, with economists saying Finance Minister Tito Mboweni may be forced to lay the groundwork for tax increases next year, as the country seeks funds to help it recover from its longest recession in three decades.

  • Index giant Naspers Ltd. declined for the fourth day, the longest losing streak in more than a month, providing the biggest drag on the market.
    • Naspers subsidiary Prosus NV, which holds the South African tech investor’s stake in Tencent Holdings Ltd., dropped 0.8% as the Chinese internet behemoth fell for a second day in Hong Kong.
  • Index of bank stocks halts a three-day rally, falls 1.7% as the rand weakens.
    • FirstRand Ltd. -2.1%, Standard Bank Group Ltd. -1.2%, Absa Group Ltd. -2.1%, Nedbank Group Ltd. -2.3%, Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. -0.8%, Investec Plc -0.4%
    • Six-Day Rand Gain Ends as Budget Approaches
  • Diversified miners outweigh gains in gold and platinum companies to lead mining sector index lower, as gauge falls 0.5%.
    • BHP Group Plc -1.3%, Anglo American Plc -0.8%, Glencore Plc -1.2%, Pan African Resources Plc -2.5%
    • Index of gold stocks gains for the first day in three as rising virus cases boost demand for haven assets, and as a weaker local currency increases the rand price of the metal.
      • Gold Fields Ltd. +1.6%, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. +0.7%, DRDGold Ltd. +1.5%
    • Index of platinum companies +0.6%
      • Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. +1%, Anglo American Platinum Ltd. +1.1%, Northam Platinum Ltd. +0.6%, Royal Bafokeng platinum Ltd. +0.3%
  • Foreigners were net sellers of South African stocks for an eighth consecutive session Friday, disposing of 1.25 billion rand worth of shares, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd.

NOTE: Foreign Outflows From South Africa Stocks Gain Momentum

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