Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

THE JSE reversed earlier losses to close firmer on Monday, after gold and platinum stocks jumped on the weaker rand, despite commodity prices retreating on the day.

The rand plunged to a record low R16.7695/$ in morning trade, before recovering to R16.58/$ at the close.

At the JSE’s close the platinum price was 2.67% lower at $850.12 an ounce, and gold dropped 0.38% to $1,099.72 an ounce.

The all share traded in volatile fashion for most of the day, losing more than 1% in early morning trade only to firm more than 1% in the late afternoon, before weakening again at the close.

Rand hedges were sharply higher with SABMiller and British American Tobacco firming more than 3% each. The sell-off in banks continued, however.

Analysts say the market digested the after-effects of Friday’s strong US nonfarm payroll data, indicating a relatively strong US economy, as well as continued concern about the Chinese economy.

"European equities briefly managed to buck the broader pessimism while Asian equities extended losses on China concerns," Barclays Research said.

Chinese markets again closed weaker on Monday, with the Shanghai Composite losing 5.33%, but European markets were mixed with the FTSE up 0.15%, the CAC 40 losing 0.90% and the Dax gaining 0.89% by the JSE’s close.

At the same time the Dow Jones industrial average was 0.34% higher after closing weaker on Friday.

At 5pm the all share closed 0.45% up at 48,322.70 points and the blue-chip top 40 had gained 0.53%. The gold index had leapt 9.08% and platinums added 5.89%. Resources were 2.75% higher and industrials were up 0.45%. Banks ended the day 3.03% weaker.

The head of macro research at Momentum Investments, Herman van Papendorp, said the pace of US rate hikes was expected to remain dependent on continued progress in the US labour market, a sustainable rise in inflation and healthier levels of global demand.

"In the past, developing countries benefited from higher US rates, which accompanied stronger growth activity and rising inflation."

This time around, however, emerging markets face the headwinds of sluggish global trade and benign commodity prices, given less-commodity-intensive Chinese growth prospects.

"At the same time the stimulus moves by the European Central Bank (ECB) have disappointed the market, which had been anticipating more aggressive action by the ECB," Mr Van Papendorp said.

Among individual shares on the JSE, Anglo American surged 6.39% to R58.75.

Sasol ended the day 1.21% firmer at R394.30 as the Brent crude price dropped 1.95% to $32.66 per barrel in the late afternoon.

SABMiller rose 3.05% to R979.15 and British American Tobacco firmed 3.12% to R884.55.

Anglo American Platinum soared 12.83% to R187.87, while Gold Fields rallied 10.66% to R54.60.

Standard Bank shed 4.21% to R100 and Barclays Africa lost 4.17% to R126.50.

PSG Group fell 5.12% to R185, while Clicks shed 2.37% to R83.47.

Naspers ended the day 0.73% weaker at R1,920.82.