South Africa Stocks Rally With Rand Hedges Up as Unrest Persists

(Bloomberg) — South African stocks rose, led by companies that derive much of their income abroad and benefit from weakness in the local currency, as authorities grappled with a wave of unrest in two key provinces that has left more than 70 people dead.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index was 1.1% higher as of 10:09 a.m. in Johannesburg, with rand-hedge giants BHP Group Plc, Richemont, Anglo American Plc and Naspers Ltd. prominent in the advance after the currency slipped to its lowest level against the dollar since April.

South Africans are expected to face major food shortages, as rioters upend supply chains by looting supermarkets and torching goods trucks.

Food Shortage Set to Grip South Africa After Rioters Rampage

South Africa’s Biggest Refinery Shuts Down Due to Unrest

Negative foreign sentiment toward South African stocks was evident in the large outflows recorded Tuesday, with non-residents selling 4 billion rand ($271 million) of local equities, the most since November last year.

Globally, investors are evaluating a surprise U.S. inflation jump that stirred the debate on how long Federal Reserve policy can stay ultra-loose. The June U.S. inflation print topped all forecasts and pointed to higher costs associated with the reopening from the pandemic.

In Johannesburg Wednesday, an index of industrial miners surged 1.7% to provide the biggest boost to the overall market.

BHP +1.1% after RBC Capital Markets said the company has the potential to pay out 100% of 2021 earnings in dividends and still come in below its net debt target amid surging iron ore prices.NOTE: BHP Could Pay Out 100% of Earnings on Iron Ore Surge, RBC SaysAnglo American +1.2%, Glencore Plc +1.6%, Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. +0.7%, African Rainbow Minerals Ltd. +0.5%

Luxury goods retailer and popular rand-hedge Richemont advanced 1.2% to a record.

Global tech investor Naspers advanced 1.7% to contribute the most to the rising benchmark.

An index of banks steadied after plunging the most since December on Tuesday. The gauge was 0.7% higher, with Standard Bank Group Ltd. up 1.1%.

NOTE: Rand Hovers Near Weakest Level Since April: Inside South Africa

Real Estate Investment Trusts dropped to the lowest in two weeks, as investors avoided some sectors exposed to the unrest.

GrowthPoint Properties Ltd. -1.1%, Redefine Properties Ltd. -1.2%, Vukile Property Fund Ltd. -2.5%, Attacq Ltd. -3.7%, EPP NV -1.7%, Irongate Group -1.2%, Hyprop Investments Ltd. -0.8%, Hammerson Plc -1.3%, Resilient Reit Ltd 1.1%

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By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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