Our local bourse started the trading session lower by 0.3% on Wednesday, largely on the back of Naspers giving up some of the gains seen in the last two weeks, trading down by 2.1% on the day. Subdued trading conditions saw the All-Share trade near the unchanged level, with the only highlights being gains in the healthcare and telecommunications sectors. Our market eventually finished the day lower by 0.22%. The biggest loser for the day was the platinum mining sector, depreciating 1.09% by market close. Leading the downside were Northam and Impala, declining by 2.96% and 1.36% respectively. Our industrial sector followed on closely and finished 0.51% lower, driven largely by Naspers which closed the day 2.03% softer.
On the company front, Reuters reported that Steinhoff had not informed investors about a close on $1 billion in transactions with a related company, despite laws that some lawmakers believe require the company to do so. Shares in the retailer fell to a 10 week low after shedding 4.2% to R59.3. Indluplace released its results for the year ended 30 September 2017. Highlights included dividend growth of 5.6%, portfolio growth of 23% to approximately R 2.9 billion, vacancies were stable at 3.5% and the group forecast dividend growth at between 4% and 7%. Capital & Counties noted the recent press speculation and confirmed that it remains in discussions with the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (LBHF) to bring forward an enhanced master plan for the Earls Court Opportunity Area. An enhanced master plan would seek to deliver an increased number of homes across all tenures throughout the wider Earls Court Area and could involve LBHF taking the lead on future plans for the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates. The board of Afrimat announced that the shares of Afrimat have been approved for inclusion in the list of qualifying equity securities to be traded on A2X with effect of 9 November. A2X is a licensed stock exchange authorised to provide a secondary listing venue for companies and is regulated by the FSB. Delta Property Fund advised shareholders that terms for the proposed subscription by a broad-based black empowerment consortium for shares representing, following the issue, approximately 42.2% of the company’s share capital is still being negotiated, and when completed will have a significant impact on the price of the company’s securities.
On the Economic front, The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's business confidence index fell to 92.9 in October of 2017 from 93 in the previous month, as growth expectations lowered. China's trade surplus narrowed sharply to USD 38.17 billion in October 2017 from USD 48.42 billion in the same month a year earlier, and missing market consensus of USD 39.5 billion. Imports jumped 17.2% from the previous year to USD 150.81 billion in October, while exports rose at a softer 6.9% to USD 188.98 billion. Mortgage applications in the United States stalled in the week ending November 3rd 2017, following a 2.6% drop in the previous period, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed. Refinance applications decreased 0.5%, offsetting a 0.5% gain in applications to purchase a home. Total value traded for the day was R 20.75bn.
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