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South African fashion and grocery retailers lift stocks

SOUTH African stocks closed higher on Tuesday, led by fashion and grocery retailers, which reported better-than-expected sales growth.

Retailers’ results eased investor concerns about constrained consumer spending in an environment where rising inflation, interest rates, fuel and utilities are putting pressure on household disposable income.

Fashion retailer Truworths jumped 9.7%, clocking its biggest one-day surge in 1-1/2-years, after reporting a 9% rise in annual sales.

Biggest grocer Shoprite rose 4.71% after reporting a 9.6% increase in annual sales, while smaller rival Pick n Pay was up 3.22% after a 10.7% sales increase in the 18 weeks to July 3.

“Several JSE-listed retailers have released good operational sales updates this week. Shoprite and Truworths’ FY22 sales growth exceeded market expectations, translating into positive share price reactions by both counters on the day,” Zinhle Mayekiso, Equity Analyst at Anchor Capital told Reuters.

She added that Pick n Pay’s double-digit sales growth indicated possible market share gains.

The Top-40 index closed 0.95% higher at 62,017 points while the broader all-share (.JALSH) rose 0.99% to 68,421 points.

On the currency market, the rand weakened as the dollar rose after three straight sessions of declines ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy statement.

At 1608 GMT, the rand traded at 16.9325 per dollar, 1% weaker than its previous close.

The dollar index, measured against a basket of major currencies, was up more than 0.7% at 107.22.

The government’s benchmark 2030 bond was almost unchanged, with the yield at 10.680%.