Cape Town - The JSE closed flat on Thursday in a session which saw it reverse most of its earlier gains.
MTN [JSE:MTN] was the biggest gainer on the day after the release of its full-year results for the year ended December 31 2017. The results indicated healthy increases in earnings and free cash flow in constant currency, and a final dividend of R4.50 was declared. The stock gained 10.12% to close at R134.00 per share.
Other top gainers included listed property stocks Resilient [JSE:RES] and Fortress B [JSE:FFB] which gained 9.00% and 7.43% respectively. Consolidated Infrastructure [JSE:CIL] and Echo Polska Properties [JSE:EPP] also featured amongst the biggest gainers as they added 5.56% and 3.79% respectively.
Healthcare stocks Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] and Life Healthcare [JSE:LHC] firmed by 3.75% and 3.51% respectively, whilst Richemont [JSE:CFR] gained 0.86% to close at R104.95 per share.
Lonmin [JSE:LON] and Famous Brands [JSE:FBR] anchored the bottom of the broader All-Share index as they lost 7.14% and 5.79% respectively. Other food processing companies such as RCL Foods [JSE:RCL] and Rhodes Food Group [JSE:RFG] also traded lower to shed 3.37% and 5.12% respectively. Growthpoint Properties [JSE:GRT] ended the day at the bottom of the blue-chip index as it lost 3.51%.
Standard Bank’s [JSE:SBK] earnings results released on Thursday morning were positive, and this saw the stock trading firmer to reach a session high of R231.00 per share before it erased all the gains towards the close. The stock closed at R220.97 per share, down 1.28% for the day. First Rand [JSE:FSR] and Rand Merchant Investment Holdings [JSE:RMH] traded under significant pressure to end the day 3.38% and 3.89% lower.
The JSE All-Share Index eventually ended the day flat as it lost 0.06%, whilst the JSE Top-40 Index gained 0.1%. The Industrials Index ended the day up 0.22%. However the Resources and Financials Indices closed 0.31% and 0.64% lower respectively.
Brent Crude came under pressure during Thursday's session to reach a session low of $63.79/barrel. It recovered from those lows to trade at $64.02/barrel just after the close.
Gold was trading mostly flat because of the US dollar which was also trading relatively flat. However, it did have a minor slide towards the close as the US dollar recorded significant gains. The precious metal was trading at $1 321.27/Oz just after the close, down 0.36% for the day.
Platinum struggled to find direction as it slid to a session low of $947.52/Oz before spiking sharply to a session high of $958.48/Oz.
The metal was trading 0.29% weaker at $949.79/Oz just after the close. Palladium traded mostly flat and it also had a sharp spike higher to reach a session high of $990.16/Oz. It retraced to trade at $981.10/Oz just after the JSE close.