The Herald (South Africa)

JSE higher, led by retailers, but resources strain

- Karl Gernetzky

THE JSE closed higher yesterday – with retailers buoyed by positive economic data, but a US dollar rebound put pressure on many stocks in resources.

The dollar gained against the euro after US inflation for last month was higher than market expectatio­ns, with the rand paring earlier gains.

Domestic focus remained on the expected departure of President Jacob Zuma.

Statistics SA reported that retail sales in December grew 5.3% year on year‚ beating a consensus forecast of 4%. This is likely to provide a fillip for South Africa’s fourth-quarter GDP figure.

Nedbank economist Johannes Khosa said the figures suggested that the economy sustained reasonable momentum in the fourth quarter.

The JSE all-share closed 0.33% higher at 57 399.6 points, and the Top 40 added 0.3%.

Food and drug retailers rose 2.82%‚ general retailers 1.77%‚ industrial shares 0.8%‚ banks 0.75%, and platinum stocks 0.68%. Property dropped 1.48% and resources 0.62%. Sasol dropped 1.33% to R388.45. Remgro rose 2.51% to R229.63. Harmony Gold leapt 10.51% to R23.34, continuing its rally from Tuesday, when it reported a 49% rise in first-half headline earnings per share.

Standard Bank rose 1.41% to R207.93, while Capitec was off 3.74% to R813.26.

Steinhoff shed 2.22% to R5.28, while Shoprite climbed 1.52% to a record R252.43.

Among property stocks, Resilient lost 5.88% to R96 and Hyprop Investment­s 2.97% to R108.

Naspers rose 1.88% to R3 169.99.

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