The JSE closed weaker on Monday as it erased earlier gains primarily on the back of losses which were recorded in health sector stocks.
Globally, sentiment still remains mostly bearish as investors are still fretting over the potential implications of the current escalation of the trade war between China and the US. On the home front, the beatdown in health sector related stocks continued as investors ran over the uncertainty of the proposed National Health Insurance bill and its possible impact.
The rand also had another tough session as it fell to a session low of R15.46/$, as emerging market currencies retreated against the greenback.
The rand did rebound marginally from its session lows to be recorded trading 0.59% weaker at R15.33/$ at 17.00 CAT. Pharmaceutical giant Aspen [JSE:APN] led the losses among the large caps as it fell 10.2% to close at R75.91. Discovery Limited [JSE:DSY] lost 8.44% to close at R105.72, Netcare [JSE:NTC] dropped 4.04% to close at R15.93, and Dis-Chem Pharmacies [JSE:DCP] closed at R21.61 after falling 5.84%.
The weaker rand saw retailers trade mostly weaker on the day as losses were recorded for Shoprite [JSE:SHP] which fell 3.35% to close at R146.80, as well Truworths [JSE:TRU] which lost 3.24% to end the day at R57.00. Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] which has come under pressure since the release of its latest earnings results slumped further in today's session as it lost 9.6% to close at R6.31. Its sector peer Arrowhead Properties [JSE:AWA] fell 3.04% to close at R3.19.
Gold miners on the JSE continue to rise on the back of a higher rand gold price due to higher gold metal prices and a weaker rand. DRD Gold [JSE:DRD] surged 7.29% to close at R6.33, Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] advanced 7.11% to R46.72, while AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] gained 5% to end the day at R317.61.
Sasol [JSE:SOL] had a minor reprieve in today's session as it climbed 2.14% to close at R295.17, while Sappi [JSE:SAP] closed as one of the day's biggest gainers after rocketing 12.88% to close at R45.85.
Other significant gainers on the day included Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] which gained 1.85% to close at R439.04, while British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] closed at R568.40 after adding 1.5%.
The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 0.33% weaker while the JSE Top-40 index lost 0.21%. The Resources index managed to gain 1.31%, however the Industrials and Financials indices lost 0.74% and 1.15% respectively.
At 17.00 CAT, Platinum was down 0.51% to trade at $856.20/Oz, Platinum was up 0.62% to trade at $1434.55/Oz, and Palladium had gained 0.47% to trade at $1504.49/Oz.Oil traded mostly steady as traders looked for fresh clues on global stockpiles and demand.
The commodity was trading 0.09% firmer at $58.59/barrel just after the JSE close.