News Column

Stocks end mixed as resources rise, retailers retreat

January 20, 2014

The Top40 index rose 0.06 percent to a record closing high of 41 976.36, after earlier scaling an all-time high of 42 259.17. The wider all share index dropped 0.11 percent to 46 675.88. Contrasting with the move in resources were retailers such as Shoprite and credit clothier Truworths, which reported disappointing sales figures amid a slow spending consumer environment. "We are seeing a big shift into the resources stocks," said Owen Nkomo , the executive partner at investment firm Inkunzi Investments. Kumba gained 3.6 percent to R460, its highest close in almost three months. It was the second-biggest gainer among blue chips. AngloGold Ashanti extended recent gains, climbing 4.45 percent to R144.50, making it the biggest advancer on the Top40, as it benefited from a rising gold price and soft rand. Shoprite slid 4.47 percent to R151.65, making it the biggest decliner among blue chips. The grocer, which also has operations in Nigeria and Zambia , said turnover rose by 9.6 percent in the six months to December. Comparable store sales were up 4.3 percent. Truworths slid 2.51 percent to R76 as the fashion retailer said first-half sales increased only 7.1 percent. A total of 211 million shares changed hands, with decliners outpacing advancers 164 to 136. The rand recovered some of its footing against the dollar after plumbing five-year lows earlier in the week, but a dim economic outlook points to further losses in the short term. At 5pm on Friday , the local currency was bid at R10.8535 to the dollar, 3.65c firmer than at the same time on Thursday. Government bonds also nudged higher on Friday, with yields on the heavily traded instruments due in 2026 and 2015 dipping. Pretoria News

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Source: Pretoria News (South Africa)

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