Stocks drift in thin trade on Fed un­cer­tainty

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - BUSINESS -

SOUTH African stocks drifted side­ways in thin trade yes­ter­day, as in­vestors re­mained cau­tious due to un­cer­tainty over when the US Fed­eral Re­serve could start scal­ing back its stim­u­lus pro­gramme.

Jo­han­nes­burg-listed shares of US firm Net 1 UEPS Tech­nolo­gies tum­bled af­ter a court rul­ing that a con­tract with South Africa’s So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency was invalid.

“In­vestors are quite jumpy about what to ex­pect from ta­per­ing talks by the Fed,” said Abri du Plessis, chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer at Gryphon As­set Man­age­ment in Cape Town.

“There’s quite a bit of …worry about what’s go­ing to hap­pen.”

The Top-40 in­dex fell 0.29 per­cent to 40 169.32. The All-Share in­dex gave up 0.18 per­cent to 44 975.67.

In­vestors are wait­ing to see when the US will be­gin scal­ing back, or ta­per­ing, its mas­sive stim­u­lus pro­gramme that has propped up emerg­ing mar­kets such as South Africa.

Shares of Net 1 UEPS tum­bled 41 per­cent to R73. Stan­dard Bank fell 1.1 per­cent to R120.65, as in­vestors shrugged off news that a le­gal panel had over­turned a $52 mil­lion court sanc­tion against the bank. – Reuters

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