South African Market Overview 15 December 2021

Sharing our Daily Market Overview with you, ensuring that you do not miss out on any important market changes!

 

Local Market Update

  • Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange trended mixed yesterday. The market received a boost towards the end of the session when Britain, a major source of tourists to South Africa, removed the country and other southern African countries from its “red list” COVID -19 of travel restrictions. The all-share index ended 0.16% higher at 71,545, while the blue-chip Top-40 index added 0.05% to close at 65,212. Among the decliners was South African petrochemical company and fuel supplier Sasol, which cut its production forecast for one of its plants by 6% due to a drop in coal supply.
  • The rand fell on Tuesday, weighed down by worries about the effectiveness of the vaccines COVID -19 against the Omicron variant, ahead of a data-heavy Wednesday. At the close of trading, the rand was trading 0.32% weaker at R16.09 to the dollar. A study released by insurer Discovery showed Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID -19 vaccine was less effective at keeping people infected with the coronavirus out of hospital since the Omicron variant emerged last month.
  • Gold prices held steady this morning after a sharp drop in the previous session as investors looked for clues about the pace of tapering at the end of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting. Oil prices fell for a third straight session today as expectations grow that supply will outpace demand next year, even if the Omicron coronavirus variant does not restrict mobility as much as previous COVID -19 variants. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday that a rise in COVID -19 cases with the emergence of the Omicron variant will dampen global demand for oil, while also boosting crude production.

In Local News

 

Sasol expects significantly lower production volumes from Secunda operations

Sasol has revised down its forecast for production volumes from Secunda Operations (SO) to between 6.7 and 6.8 million tonnes for fiscal 2022. “Based on actual performance and our coal purchasing strategy, we expect the mining operation to achieve an average productivity rate of 950 to 1 040 t/cm/s in fiscal 2022,” Sasol said in a trading update on¬†Tuesday. This follows an earlier correction in October, when the fuel giant said it expected production volumes at SO to be between 7.3 and 7.4 million tonnes, down from 7.4 to 7.5 million tonnes. The reduction was attributed to “unforeseen delays during the September shutdown, power supply disruption by Eskom, poor coal quality and other operational instabilities”.

Pfizer shot less effective after Omicron emerges in South Africa – study

Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine has been less effective in keeping people infected with the virus out of hospital in South Africa since the Omicron variant emerged last month, a study published Tuesday shows. Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 7, people who received two doses of the vaccine had a 70% chance of avoiding hospitalisation. When it came to avoiding infection altogether, the study by South Africa’s largest private health insurance administrator, Discovery Health, showed that protection against contracting Covid-19 had dropped to 33% from 80% previously.