April fuel

By Staff Writer

By Marc Hasenfuss, Fin24

But it's funny how that line jumped into my head after watching the JSE dribble down on Monday when there was precious little optimistic pervading the trading floor.

April kicks off on a rather wobbly note - serious regulatory revamps to financial markets in the US, Lehman Brothers seeking millions of dollars to prop up its balance sheet and (closer to home) the prolonged poll in Zimbabwe.

Downwards drag

Not surprisingly (after a fine rally in the last week) the JSE finished Monday in the red. The All Share Index was down 1.5% with financials (down 2.67%) and industrials (-1.45%) providing most of the drag.

The resource index drifted down 0.88%

There was a fair bit of volume amongst the financials, and the losers included FirstRand (13 million shares changing hands), Old Mutual (8 million shares), Standard Bank (3.4 million shares), Sanlam (3.1 million shares), African Bank (2.3 million shares) and Absa (2 million shares).

The biggest loser was life assurer Metropolitan Life, shedding over 4% to 1 321c with 2.6 million shares changing hands.

Other notable losers were Uranium One (which shed 14.5% after its year end results presentation), Telkom (9.6%) and industrial conglomerate Steinhoff International (down 5.5% to 1 834c).

Winning

One the winning side pharmaceutical group Aspen shunted up 9.5% to 3 190c, while Cape Empowerment Trust shimmied up 5.2% to 163c after uttering some bullish statements after the release of its year to end December results.

Although sentiment was out for most of the market two "wreckovery" stocks - diamond miner Trans Hex and Delta Electrical - were stronger on Monday, both up by more than 5% to 1 050c and 1 150c respectively.

Play of the day was small coal specialist Wescoal, which is listed on the AltX. The market has long overlooked the share, but yesterday there was certainly more than a smidgen of interest with Wescoal climbing more than 7% to 100c.

Sentiment today (April Fool's day, for those that need reminding) is going to be interesting to gauge after Wall Street finished slightly stronger on Monday night. Maybe higher commodity prices will come to the rescue again?

But even that might not be enough to lift the market mood, though... at least not while there is a dangerous stasis in the Zimbabwean elections.

 

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