South African Stocks Hold Steady as Market Awaits Fed Decision

South Africa’s main stock benchmark was little changed in early trading on Wednesday as weakness in banks and index heavyweight Richemont countered gains in miners and index giant Naspers Ltd.

Investors are awaiting the conclusion of a Federal Reserve meeting to gauge the extent of central bank support for the economic recovery. The Fed is expected to maintain its dovish stance after earlier saying it will shift to a more relaxed approach on inflation. Central bank stimulus has been shoring up sentiment in the face of risks from the pandemic, the U.S. presidential election and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

  • Diversified miners BHP Group Plc and Anglo American Plc lead the gauge for resource stocks, up 1%
  • BHP rises 1.7% after the miner says it will benefit most from a global shift toward faster and more dramatic measures to address climate change, and aims to profit from doing so itself.
  • Naspers extends gains to a sixth session, the longest winning streak since Feb. 7. Stock climbs 0.3% as Tencent Holdings Ltd. advances in Hong Kong. Naspers holds a minority stake in the tech giant.
  • Richemont falls for a second day, down 0.4% after adjusting for the stock going ex-dividend; SBG Securities downgrades the luxury company to sell.
    • NOTE: Richemont Cut to Sell at SBG Securities; PT 65 Swiss francs
  • Index for bank stocks falls 1.1%
    • FirstRand Ltd. -1.4%, Standard Bank Group Ltd. -1.2%, Absa Group Ltd. -0.8%, Nedbank Group Ltd. -0.7%, Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. -0.3%, Investec -0.9%
  • Discovery Ltd. drops 2.2% after headline earnings fall 94% and company skips dividend payment on Covid uncertainty
  • Foschini Group Ltd. falls 4% as stock is downgraded by Nedbank
  • Foreign investors were net sellers of South African stocks Tuesday, disposing of 366 million rand worth of shares, according to index operator JSE Ltd.

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