The JSE stumbled on Monday as it tracked global markets lower which retreated on the back of weaker economic data.
Services and Manufacturing PMI numbers in the Eurozone came in lower than forecast, which reignited worries of an economic slowdown in the region and the rest of the world. In Asia, the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.81% and 1.14% respectively. Japanese markets were shut for a public holiday. US markets also opened softer on Monday following the release of a mixed economic data.
On the currency market, the rand weakened significantly against the greenback, at one stage looking set to breach R15/$. At 17.00 CAT, it had rebounded marginally to trade 0.52% firmer at R14.84/$.
On the local bourse, the weaker rand saw rand sensitive stocks generally trade lower on the day. Retailer Massmart [JSE:MSM] tumbled 5.32% to close at R44.50, Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK] fell 2.84% to end the day at R61.20, and Woolworths [JSE:WHL] retreated by 2.61% to close at R56.70.
Nampak [JSE:NPK] was amongst the day's biggest losers after it lost 5% to close at R9.50, while Discovery Ltd [JSE"DSY] closed at R114.24 after losing 3.89%. Banker the Absa Group [JSE:ABG] lost 0.86% to close at R161.60, while its sector peer Nedbank [JSE:NED] fell 1.67% to close at R232.95.
Other significant losers on the day included the Bid Corporation [JSE:BID] which lost 2.8% to close at R322.70, and Naspers [JSE:NPN] which fell 2.655 to close at R2 385.03.
Miners recorded most of the gains on Monday's session. Gold miner DRD Gold [JSE:DRD] advanced 8.5% to close at R7.53, Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] surged 6.1% to R48.54, and Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] rose 4.39% to close at R78.01.
Brait [JSE:BAT] rallied on the back of the release of a shareholder update in which the company highlighted its intention to reduce its net operating costs. The stock ended the day 8% higher at R17.15. Platinum miner, Northam Platinum [JSE:NHM] gained 4.11% to close at R83.28, while Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] added 1.81% to close at R95.25. Other significant gainers on the day included RCL Foods [JSE:RCL] which gained 4.62% to close at R9.73, and Bidvest [JSE:BVT] which added a more modest 0.98% to end at R193.05.
The JSE Top-40 index eventually closed 1.55% lower while the JSE All-Share index lost 1.48%. The Industrials index took the biggest knock of the day amongst major indices to end down 2.01%. The Financials and Resources indices lost 1.34% and 0.9% respectively.
Brent crude, meanwhile, continues to be volatile as traders look for clues on output resumption from Saudi Arabia. The commodity was trading 0.08% firmer at 64.32/barrel just after the JSE close.
At 17.00 CAT, Platinum was up 1.55% at $961.10/Oz, Palladium had surged 1.19% to trade at $1662.10/Oz, and Gold was 0.63% firmer at $1526.40/Oz.