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Local Market Update
– Shares listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) slipped on Tuesday after a strong start to
the week, as weak platinum prices pulled down the mining companies which had spearheaded
most of the gains earlier. However, local banks, often considered the barometer of the domestic
economy, fared well as investors said the worst of the third wave of coronavirus in the country was
over and some green shoots were visible. The benchmark all-share index ended down 0.54% to
64,300 points and the blue-chip index of top-40 companies closed down 0.65% to 58,115 points.
– The rand slumped on Tuesday afternoon, bringing to a halt a recent rally as investment bank
JPMorgan recommended selling the currency. At the close of the session, the rand was trading
around R14.33 versus the dollar or 1.31% softer. JPMorgan said in a note to clients that three
factors made the rand look vulnerable: it had reached high levels on an in-house emerging market
risk appetite index, key terms of trade were starting to look less favourable and investors might
also look at hedging options again soon.
– Gold prices held above the key psychological level of $1,800 as the dollar and bond yields came
under pressure after a tamer-than-expected rise in U.S. inflation led to uncertainty on when the
U.S. central bank will begin tapering its asset purchases. Oil prices climbed this morning after
industry data showed a larger than expected drawdown in crude oil stocks in the United States, the
world’s largest oil consumer, and on expectations that demand will recover as vaccine roll-outs
In Local news
Stor-Age in new self-storage JV with Nedbank
Self-storage real estate investment trust (Reit) Stor-Age put out a strong business and trading
update on the JSE on Tuesday and announced plans to develop new self-storage properties in
greater Sandton as part of a joint venture (JV) with Nedbank Corporate and Investment Bank – SA’s
largest commercial property financier. “Stor-Age has agreed terms to enter a JV with Nedbank
Corporate and Investment Bank, acting through Nedbank Property Partners, subject to the
finalisation of formal contract documentation, to develop two high profile properties in
Morningside [7 400m² gross lettable area or GLA] and Bryanston [4 700m²] at a total cost of
approximately R200 million,” it noted in a JSE Sens statement
Karooooo buys Picup in big e-commerce play
Karooooo, the Nasdaq-listed mobility software company that owns South Africa’s Cartrack
Holdings, has acquired digital logistics specialist Picup Technologies in a R70 million deal. Antonio
Bruni, founder and CEO of Picup, and the management team will remain invested with a 29.9%
stake. Karooooo has the option to increase its shareholding to 83.5% in time. Picup is a system
integration partner of Cartrack’s and specialises in the “online delivery operational management
software industry”, Karooooo said in a statement on Monday.
International Market Update
– European stocks closed mixed Tuesday as investors reacted to U.S. inflation data that could inform
the Federal Reserve’s timing for tapering of its monetary stimulus. The pan-European Stoxx 600
provisionally closed little changed, with mining stocks sinking 1.9% while tech shares rose 1.2%. In
terms of individual share price movement, British retailer JD Sports climbed 9.7% on Tuesday to
top the Stoxx 600 after reporting a sevenfold surge in first-half earnings.
– U.S. stock indexes closed lower Tuesday, giving up gains earlier in the session after a better-than-feared inflation reading and falling back into their September doldrums. Stocks popped at the
open after the August consumer price index, while still showing a significant jump in inflation,
came in less than expected. However, the stock averages turned lower roughly half an hour into
trading. Shares linked to the economic recovery dropped. Bank of America lost 2.6%. General
Electric took industrial shares into the red, closing 3.9% lower.
– Shares in Asia-Pacific were lower this morning following losses overnight on Wall Street, with
investors reacted to the release of Chinese economic data. Data released earlier today showed
China’s retail sales growing at a much slower pace than expected in August. The retail sales print
for the month grew 2.5%, against a 7% growth forecast by analysts polled by Reuters.
In International news
TikTok: Social media giant to roll out support for users’ mental health
TikTok has announced a set of features to help users struggling with mental health issues and
thoughts of suicide. The features include guides on wellbeing and support for people who are
struggling with eating disorders. There is also a search intervention feature that directs users to
support resources if they look up terms such as “suicide”. The move comes as rival platform
Instagram comes under fresh scrutiny over its impact on users’ wellbeing.
Kroger CEO says finding talent is grocery operator’s greatest challenge
Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said Tuesday that one of its biggest challenges is a shortage of staff.
The grocer currently has about 20,000 job openings, McMullen said, in an interview on CNBC’s
“Squawk Box.” “We’re aggressively hiring anywhere we can,” he said. “One of the biggest constraints
we have right now is finding talented people.” Kroger is the country’s largest supermarket operator
with more than 2,700 stores under multiple banners, including its own name and other brands
such as Ralphs, Harris Teeter and Fry’s.