SA stocks slipped to a near two-month low on Friday as risk aversion swept across financial markets on resurgent US-China trade tensions. TIMOTHY BERNARD, INLSA
South African stocks slipped to a near two-month low on Friday as risk aversion swept across financial markets on resurgent US-China trade tensions, while the rand also weakened.

Both major stock indices weakened more than 2 percent at market open after US President Donald Trump hit China with a 10 percent tariff on the remaining $300 billion (R4.3 trillion) of Chinese imports on Thursday, a day after negotiators from both countries concluded a meeting in Shanghai without significant signs of progress.

“The negative mood across markets suggests that investors are jittery over sizzling trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies sabotaging the already fragile global growth outlook,” Lukman Otunuga, a senior research analyst at FXTM said in a note.

The JSE all share index closed 1.66 percent lower at 56273.92 points, while the Top40 index ended the day 1.95 percent down to 50332.33 points, after both weakened to levels last seen on June4.

Bucking the trend, the gold index strengthened 5.89 percent to 2205.53 points as investors sought safe-haven assets. Harmony Gold jumped 6 percent to R38.88, AngloGold Ashanti gained 7.35 percent to R282.48, while Sibanye-Stillwater climbed 2.42 percent to R18.64.

On the forex market, at 5pm on Friday, the rand bid at R14.7537 to the dollar, 20 cents softer than at the same time on Thursday. 

Reuters