S. Africa Stocks Decline as Global Virus Concerns Damp Sentiment

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South Africa’s main stock benchmark dropped for a third day, down 0.4% by 9:55 a.m. in Johannesburg, dragged lower by miners and banks in a risk-off session.

The market followed Asian peers in tumbling Friday, as surging coronavirus cases fanned concern that tougher curbs may hamper the economic recovery without further stimulus. Sentiment toward riskier assets worsened after theworld’s top central bankers warned that the prospect of a vaccine isn’t enough to put an end to the economic challenges created by the pandemic.

Friday’s weakness trimmed the benchmark’s weekly gain to 0.8%, still set to rise for a second week in a row.

Johannesburg’s index of mining stocks retreated 0.6%, as platinum and gold companies dropped and diversified miners fell.

  • Anglo American Plc -0.4%, Sibanye Stillwater Ltd. -1.4%, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. -1.2%, Gold Fields Ltd. -0.9%, BHP Group Plc -0.2%, Northam Platinum Ltd. -1.7%, Anglo American Platinum Ltd. -0.4%, Exxaro Resources Ltd. -0.5%

An index of bank stocks dropped for a second day, down 1.8% as the rand traded lower against the dollar.

  • FirstRand Ltd. -1.4%, Standard Bank Group Ltd. -1.4%, Absa Group Ltd. -2.7%, Nedbank Group Ltd. -2.9%, Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. -0.3%, Investec Plc -1.5%
  • Insurers fall 2.8%
    • Sanlam Ltd. -2.2%, Old Mutual Ltd. -3.1%, Discovery Ltd. -2.3%, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings -2.4%, Liberty Holdings Ltd. -1.9%

    Index giant Naspers Ltd. gained for a second day, up 0.9% to provide biggest boost to the market, as partly owned Chinese internet behemoth Tencent Holdings Ltd. rose in Hong Kong after releasing its earnings Thursday.