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UPDATE 1-Naspers' record high lifts South Africa's stocks, rand recovers
May 9, 2017 / 4:18 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Naspers' record high lifts South Africa's stocks, rand recovers

* Stocks hit 11-month high

* Naspers up more than 3 pct

* Rand recovers, gains limited (Adds stocks, quotes, updates levels)

JOHANNESBURG, May 9 (Reuters) - Stocks in South Africa hit an 11-month high on Tuesday, buoyed by Naspers after the market heavyweight touched a record high, while the rand recovered against the dollar.

South Africa’s biggest firm by market value beat its record high booked on Monday by more than 3 percent, lifted by the rising fortunes of China’s Tencent Holdings, in which it holds a major stake.

Shares in the media and e-commerce firm closed 3.13 percent higher to 2,689.70 rand.

“It looks as if we’re making all-time highs on Naspers each and every week. We’ve had some very strong potential prospects coming out of Tencent and that is the underlying reason why we’re seeing Naspers pushing higher,” Paul Chakaduka, a trader at Global Trader said.

China Merchants Securities forecast that Tencent’s first quarter sales would grow 43 percent year-on-year, while its mobile game revenue was expected to grow 41 percent. Tencent will release its results on May 17.

The blue-chip JSE Top-40 index was up 1.03 percent at 47,561 and the broader All-share index gained 0.89 percent to 54,172 points, a level last seen June 2016.

In the foreign exchange market, the rand recovered against the dollar on but gains were limited as demand for riskier currencies as well as safe-haven commodities waned.

At 1540 GMT the rand traded at 13.5725 per dollar, 0.28 percent firmer from its overnight close in New York. The rand has fell to a session low of 13.7100/dollar before staging a recovery.

“Commodities continue to grind lower, oil and gold specifically, and this is not helping our currency,” Standard Bank chief currency trader Warrick Butler wrote in a note.

Gold fell on Tuesday to its lowest since mid-March as France’s election of centrist Emmanuel Macron as its next president reduced demand for bullion as a safe haven.

Oil prices stayed under $50 per barrel as market sentiment swung between optimism over statements from major oil-producing countries that supply cuts could be extended into 2018 and lingering concerns over slowing demand and a rise in U.S. crude output.

Government bonds weakened, and the yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 rose 6.5 basis points to 8.79 percent. (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla and Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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