JSE drops as concern mounts over global coronavirus pandemic

File: The Delta board said it backs the move by the JSE to suspend the listing. eNCA

JOHANNESBURG - The JSE started the week with a third consecutive session of losses on Monday as the rise in new cases of the coronavirus outside China sparked global risk-off trade.

New cases of the virus have been reported in South Korea, Italy and Iran, fuelling fears that the outbreak may turn into a global pandemic.

China has since lifted its movement restrictions for locals as the number of new cases decreases, Reuters reported.

READ: The global spread of the new coronavirus: Where is it?

“Investors have sold out of shares for five Fridays in a row because they were unwilling to hold on over the weekend in the likelihood of bad news about the coronavirus.

"They were correct to do so this weekend. The number of coronavirus cases has shot up to 763, with all flights to the city of Daegu cancelled,” said London Capital Group head of research Jasper Lalwer.

Earlier, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.28 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng 1.79 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 0.39 percent.

READ: JSE could weaken as investors eye Chinese virus outbreak

At 10.38am, the JSE all share had dropped 2.26 percent to 56,041.84 points and the top 40 2.38 percent. Banks were down 2.46 percent and resources 2.10 percent.  

Sasol said on Monday that headline earnings per share fell 74 percent to R5.94 in the six months to end-December. Its share price was down 6.58 percent to R200.


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