JSE surge on Naspers sale offset by mining firm shares
SOUTH African stocks ended flat on Friday as a 9 percent surge in e-commerce and media giant Naspers was offset by a sell-off in mining companies, which were hit by tumbling metal prices.
The benchmark Top40 index ended up 0.03 percent at 45 134.15. The broad all share index ticked up 0.02 percent to 50 598.02.
Naspers, Africa’s largest company by market value, hit a record high in intraday trade after it said it would tie up with Norway’s Schibsted in some emerging markets, including fast-growing Brazil where they have battled each other for years. It finished up 9 percent at R1 555. Naspers shares saw a surge in volume, with 3.9 million shares changing hands, more than treble its five-day average. Shares of AngloGold Ashanti, Africa’s largest gold producer, dropped 3.3 percent to R96.25.
Gold gained $7.25 to $1 169 an ounce, remaining pinned below the $1 200 price that is seen a “tipping point” by some analysts that will herald shaft closures.
For the last six months, South African gold producers have underperformed the metal price, with the Johannesburg index of gold mining firms dropping by a third while gold has lost about 10 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Platinum miners were also hammered, as the precious metal fell to a five-year low of $1 178 an ounce. That put it below an important technical level of $1 183, which means a further decline could be on the cards.
Impala Platinum dropped 3.7 percent to R78.02.
Trade on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange was active with 225 million shares changing hands, well above last year’s daily average of 176 million.