The Johannesburg All-Share Index closed up 1.03%, while the Top 40 Index rose 1.13%. Gainers included Impala Platinum and smaller platinum group metals producer Royal Bafokeng, which rose 4.18% and 4.32% respectively after Impala bought another 14 million shares in Royal Bafokeng.
Economic data showing South African manufacturing expanded at a faster pace in November as business activity and new orders increased helped fuel optimistic sentiment. Following comments from South African health experts and some drugmakers that the COVID -19 vaccines were likely to provide protection against severe disease caused by the Omicron variant.
The rand recovered further on Wednesday from last week’s slump as risk appetite returned somewhat to the markets and investors bet that the Omicron COVID -19 variant would not derail the economic recovery. However, at the close of trading, the rand was trading around R16.04 against the dollar, 0.8% weaker.
Gold prices softened this morning under the influence of a firmer dollar as investors weighed how central banks would respond to rising inflation and economic growth concerns triggered by the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus. Meanwhile, oil prices rose this morning, recouping losses from the previous day on expectations that OPEC + a pause in supply expansion could come amid growing concerns that the spread of the Omicron coronavirus could weigh on the global economy and fuel demand.
Luxe secures space for NWJ jewellery stores in Edgars
JSE-listed jewellery and watch retail group Luxe Holdings on Wednesday announced a partnership with Durban-based Retailability that will see the NWJ stores secure concessionary retail space at Edgars fashion stores. Retailability owns Edgars, while Luxe emerged from the restructured former Taste Holdings group, which also once owned the Starbucks coffee and Domino’s pizza chains in SA. After Taste’s struggling grocery stores were closed or sold last year, the group was renamed Luxe and its focus shifted to pure jewellery retailing. In a voluntary Sens statement announcing the Retailability deal, Luxe pointed out that the move had already been trialled this year with jewellery and watch ‘shop-in-shop’ counters in around 20 Edgars stores.
Process to save Ster-Kinekor delayed again
Ster-Kinekor’s journey to recover from the financial fallout of the Covid 19 pandemic has been slightly delayed as recovery expert Steyn Smyth has requested an extension to the deadline for the publication of the recovery plan until 21 January 2022. Smyth says the delay is because he has received an updated investment offer from Blantyre Capital, a London-based investment firm that specialises in special situations. Smyth said the company will be working with Cape Town- based investment firm Green Point Capital, which specialises in private credit. Smyth said the coming weeks will be used to finalise discussions on the deal and assess the impact on creditors.