S. African Stocks Set for First Weekly Drop of 2021; Sasol Jumps

South Africa’s main stocks index was poised to halt a four-week rally that saw it post eight record closes since the start of the year and was headed for its first weekly drop of 2021.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index fell 1.4% as of 10:04 a.m. in Johannesburg, dropping for a third day this week, as weakness in miners and banks overwhelmed gains in index heavyweights Naspers Ltd. and Sasol Ltd.

Global stocks are set for their worst weekly slide in about three months, partly on the turmoil caused by hoards of day-traders hatching stock bets that roiled hedge funds and strained trading platforms. South African stocks are still up 5.3% in January, on track for a third monthly advance, the longest such winning stretch since July.

Diversified miners BHP Group Plc and Anglo American Plc lead the broader gauge of mining stocks lower, with the index falling 1.4%.

  • BHP -2%, Anglo American -1.5%, Exxaro Resources Ltd. -1.6%, Glencore Plc -0.2% African Rainbow Minerals Ltd. -0.6%

Platinum stocks retreated 1.9%

  • Anglo American Platinum Ltd. -4.2%, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. -2.1%, Northam Platinum Ltd. -3.6%, Sibanye Stillwater Ltd. -0.5%, Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd. -1.7%

Gold stocks rose a second day as bullion prices gained.

  • AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. +0.8%, Harmony Gold Mining co. +0.9%, DRDGold Ltd. +0.6%

An index of bank stocks halted a three-day rally, dropping 1.9% as risk-off sentiment dominated.

  • NOTE: Rand Set for First Monthly Drop Since April: Inside South Africa
  • FirstRand Ltd. -2.1%, Standard Bank Group Ltd. -2.2%, Absa Group Ltd. -1.6%, Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. -1.2%, Nedbank Group Ltd. -1.7%, Investec Ltd. -0.6%

Insurers were also lower.

  • Sanlam Ltd. -2.9%, Old Mutual Ltd. -2.5%, Discovery Ltd. -2.2%, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings -1.7%, Liberty Holdings Ltd. -2.9%

Food and drug retailers dropped 2.2%, while general retailers retreated 1.5%.

  • Clicks Group Ltd. -3.7%, Bid Corp Ltd. -2%, Shoprite Holdings Ltd. -1.5%, Spar Group Ltd. -2.1%, Pick n Pay Stores Ltd. -1.1%
  • Mr Price Group Ltd. -2.7%, Woolworths Holdings Ltd. -2.6%, Foschini Group Ltd. -1.3%, Truworths International Ltd. -0.9%, Pepkor Holdings Ltd. -1.4%, Massmart Holdings Ltd. -3.4%

Tech investor Naspers gained 1.1% as partly owned Tencent Holdings Ltd. rallied in Hong Kong.

Sasol rose as much as 14% before paring the gains to 7.7%, after the fuel and chemicals company said it sees earnings more than tripling in the first half. Sasol provided the biggest boost to the overall benchmark index.

  • NOTE: Sasol South Africa Sees First-Half Earnings More Than Tripling

Foreigners remained net sellers of South African stocks for a seventh consecutive session Thursday, disposing of 56 million rand worth of shares, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd.

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