Weekly Market Insights 20 – 24 September 2021

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Local

– Domestic data released by Statistics South Africa in the week saw a double digit increase in mining output, although retail sales disappointed, suggesting short term industry contraction.

– Mining production increased by 10,3% year-on-year in July 2021. The largest positive contributors to the increase were iron ore, platinum group metals (PGMs) chromium ore and gold.

– Retail trade sales decreased by 0,8% year-on-year in July 2021. The largest negative annual growth rates were recorded for retailers in household furniture, appliances and equipment, hardware, paint and glass as well as food, beverages and tobacco products in specialised stores. The primary negative contributor to the decrease was general dealers.

– Motor trade sales increased by 0,6% year-on-year in July 2021. Positive annual growth rates were recorded for convenience store sales, fuel sales and new vehicle sales.

– Wholesale trade sales decreased by 2,0% in July 2021 compared with July 2020.

International

Consumer Price Index (CPI) data out of the US was a slight miss on consensus and drop from the previous months reading. The CPI and Core CPI data shows that inflation while continuing to be high in the world’s largest economy, is starting to show some signs of easing, albeit marginally. But while the Inflation print was softer than expected, US retail and core retail sales data came in well ahead of consensus estimates. The news suggests increase strength in the world’s largest economy, equating to renewed dollar strength in anticipation of a nearing timeline towards monetary tightening.

The Rand

The ZAR has fast started to unwind gains witnessed in previous weeks. The positive reaction to the record current account surplus seems long forgotten as the ZAR moves back above the R14.50/$ level, having lost more than 2.5% against the greenback over a five day period.
Amongst the catalysts for the ZAR depreciation has been sympathy with declining commodity prices and weak domestic data (retail sales).
The new week will see further domestic catalysts to influence the currency in the form of CPI inflation data on Wednesday, as well as the South African Reserve Bank’s rates decision on Thursday.

Commodities

Global growth concerns initially stemming from Chinese industrial output data has weighed on metal prices with iron ore once again the hardest hit.
Iron ore, a core ingredient in the making of steel has seen an aggressive decline (more than 50%) from highs this year, following the implementation of production limits by Chinese authorities. Policymakers have told steel producers to maintain output this year at the same levels realized in 2020. Further to this, there has been discussion from regulators about more stringent environmental controls across more regions in China. If implemented producers will see production limits affected further by emission controls.

While oil has been a barometer of the economic outlook in recent times, this week prices have gained to buck the trend seen in the broader commodities space. A slower than expected recovery in production levels around the Guld of Mexico post Hurricane Ida, has helped buoy prices in the near term. Production has been further hindered by a tropical storm within the region.

Companies

FirstRand Ltd: FY21 results showed diluted EPS to have increased to R4.77 from R3.04 in the previous year.

Growthpoint Properties Ltd: FY21 results showed the company’s diluted loss per share to have improved to 15.25c from 229.11c in the previous year.

Rand Merchant Insurance Holdings Limited: expects EPS for FY21 to be between 182.20c and 192.60c, which compares with 104.10c in the previous year.

Hyprop Investments Ltd: FY21 results showed the company’s diluted loss per share to have improved to 296.90c from 331.50c in the previous year.

Pan African Resources PLC: FY21 results showed that basic diluted earnings per share increased to 3.87c, from 2.30c in the previous year.
Astral Foods Ltd: expected HEPS for FY21 to be 25.0% lower than the previous year.

SA Corporate Real Estate Limited: expects its distributable income for the interim period to have increased by 10.7% from the prior year’s corresponding period.

Arrowhead Properties: For the year ending 30 September 2021, Arrowhead’s distributable income per A share is expected to grow by the lower of 5.0% whilst its distributable income per B share for the 2021 financial year is expected to be between 45.50c and 48.00c per B share (0% to 6% higher).

Attacq Ltd: FY21 results showed revenue to have increased to R2.39bn from R2.19bn in the previous year.

Remgro Ltd: expects HEPS for FY21 to have declined by between 6.0% and 12.0% from the previous year.

Raubex Group Ltd: expects its EPS for the interim period to be at least 123.00c, which compares with a loss per share of 25.20c in the prior years corresponding