Banking and financial stocks sagged on the JSE, leading the bourse lower in Monday’s early trade.
This saw the All Share Index (Alsi) battling to continue advances of above 38 000 it had been recording last week despite generally positive trading in Asia.
The most interesting thing about South Africa’s markets’ performance this morning is the fact that reports that former President Nelson Mandela’s is critically ill did not have any bearing on the financial markets.
This shows that things have changed in international markets with the iconic Mandela being no more an important factor to investors.
During the days when Mandela was still president of South Africa reports that he was sick led to volatility in the markets.
At weekend, it was reported that Mandela had been admitted to an unnamed South Africa hospital for medical attention and to undergo tests amid growing concern over his health.
The Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, cancelled his planned visit to the former president after he was warned that Mandela was not in good health.
This morning the Alsi was down 0.40 percent to 38 041.60 points‚ with the Top 40 index giving back 0.51 percent to 33 737.44 points. The banking and financial indices were down 0.92 percent and 0.72 percent softer‚ respectively.
“Chinese figures … have largely confirmed that the economy is picking up speed again‚” a Johannesburg-based RMB analyst said in a note.
A raft of economic data released at the weekend indicated an improvement in Asia’s largest economy‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.
China posted its highest industrial production numbers since March – growth of 10.1 percent year on year in November‚ compared with economists’ median forecast of 9.8 percent.