South African stocks fluctuate ahead of possible Covid-19 restrictions

South Africa’s main stock index erased a retreat of as much as 0.4% to be 0.1% higher as of 09h36 in Johannesburg, with the extension of a Brexit deadline, progress on vaccine deployment and US stimulus talks supporting investor appetite for riskier assets.

Bank stocks were higher, benefiting as the rand gained due to the favourable risk sentiment. Nedbank Group Ltd. led the advance, climbing 1.3% as the sector index rose 0.7%.

MTN Group Ltd. was among the stocks providing the most support to the market, rising 6.7% to recover some of the heavy losses at the end of last week following the suspension of new SIM-card sales in Nigeria.

An index of gold stocks slipped as investor demand for haven assets waned. DRDGold Ltd. dropped 3%, with Gold Fields Ltd. down 1.2%, and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. losing 0.9%.

Locally, much attention is focused on an address to the nation by President Cyril Ramaphosa later Monday, where he is widely expected to announce new measures to combat a resurgence in Covid-19 cases.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize last week declared that the country had entered a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Foreigners were net buyers of 3.6 billion rand of South African stocks on Friday, according to exchange operator JSE Ltd., the largest inflows since September 2019.

Read: South Africans are poorer after lockdown, data shows

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