JSE stocks flat, Mr Price up on update

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IOL image JSE interior view INDEPENDENT MEDIA The JSE is seen in this file photo: Leon Nicholas.

Johannesburg - South African stocks ended flat for a second straight session on Thursday but shares of clothing and household goods retailer Mr Price jumped after saying it expects its full-year earnings to climb.

The Johannesburg bourse wasn't moved by news that the ruling African National Congress swept toward victory in South Africa's fifth post-apartheid election, handing President Jacob Zuma the clout to push through pro-business reforms in the face of union and leftist opposition.

“The market won't be overly affected by the election result unless the result is a real surprise. It (the market) looks very strong and unlikely to go down,” said Desmond Reilly, a stock broker at PSG.

The All Share index was up 0.17 percent to 49,026.95, while the benchmark Top-40 index was up 0.12 percent to 43,900.72.

Mr Price ended up 4.8 percent at 165.15 rand after saying its earnings for the year to end-March likely rose by as much as 23 percent.

Shares of Transaction Capital extended gains, adding 3.4 percent to 5.79 rand, after the finance firm on Tuesday posted an increase in earnings, driven by double-digit growth in loans.

Other major gainers were telecommunications firm Vodacom , up 3.7 percent to 131.74 rand and lender Nedbank , which gained 3.3 percent to 236 rand.

Dairy giant Clover Industries was the biggest loser on the All-share index, shedding 8.7 percent to 18.94 rand after issuing a profit warning for the full-year.

“Clover has cost pressures coming from all over, from packaging to transport, across the whole board really. That's hurt their income,” Reilly said.

Also taking a hit after a trading update was transport group Barloworld Ltd, which fell 4.1 percent to 108.30 rand.

Trade was active with about 210 million shares changing hands, with advancers outpacing decliners, 181 to 131. - Reuters

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