The JSE erased earlier gains to close softer on Thursday as pressure mounted on European stocks. The local bourse had managed to get off to a firmer start before the declines in Europe weighed in the afternoon session.
The firmer open could be attributed to the gains recorded on the Shanghai Composite Index which rallied 2.3%, as well as the Nikkei which added 0.34%. The Hang Seng closed 0.17% softer.
US stocks also opened marginally softer on Thursday which aided the maintaining the weaker market sentiment.
The greenback remained in favor with investors as it continued to soar against a basket of major currencies as well as emerging market currencies. The rand slipped by more than a percent to a session low of R15.14/$ before it was recorded trading 0.88% weaker at R15.10/$ at 17.00 CAT.
On the JSE, Tsogo Sun Hotels [JSE:TGO] came under significant pressure as it plummeted 5.98% to close at R3.30, while Steinhoff International [JSE:SNH] slipped further by another 4.32% to close at R1.55. Imperial Logistics [JSE:IPL] flagged that it is expecting a drop in earnings in its half-year trading statement which saw the stock retreat 5.04% to close at R49.59. Bidvest [JSE:BVT] also flagged that it is expecting lower earnings in its trading statement which caused the share to fall 5.16% to close at R199.41.
Adcock Ingram [JSE:AIP] reported marginal increases in revenue and earnings in its half-year results which saw the share fall 4.76% to close at R44.99. Woolworths [JSE:WHL] reported lower earnings in its half-year results as it had guided in its trading statement.
The share lost 4.42% to close at R42.40. Significant losses were also recorded Massmart [JSE:MSM] which lost 3.37% to close at R50.25, as well as Liberty Holdings [JSE:LBH] which closed at R103.56 after dropping 2.46%. Nampak [JSE:NPK] closed amongst the day's biggest gainers after it rallied 12.36% to close at R5.00, while KAP Industrial Holdings [JSE:KAP] managed to record gains after sessions of significant losses as it closed 10% higher at R3.52.
Truworths [JSE:TRU] posted gains of 3.56% to close at R45.64 mainly attributable to the release of its half-year results. Diversified mining giant Anglo American PLC [JSE:AGL] released a solid set of full-year results which saw the share gain 2.49% to close at R414.79, while its sector peer BHP Group [JSE:BHP] added 0.95% to close at R317.19.
Losses were also recorded for Mondi [JSE:MNP] which added 1.74% to close at R329.00, as well as Sasol [JSE:SOL] which closed at R226.15 after gaining 1.41%.
The JSE Top-40 index eventually closed 0.13% softer while the broader JSE All-Share index shed 0.21%. The Resources index was the only major index to close firmer as it gained 0.82%, while the Industrials and Financials indices lost 0.23% and 1.73% respectively.
At 17.00 CAT, Gold was up 0.4% at $1617.81/Oz, Palladium was down 0.17% at $2708.99/oz, and Platinum was 1.65% lower at $988.83/Oz. Brent crude continues to creep up and today it was recorded trading 0.63% firmer at $59.52/barrel just after the JSE close.