During the previous session, Bell Equipment added 1.48% to settle at R13.70 per share after the group issued a trading statement for the year ending 31 December 2017. In it, Bell advised shareholders it currently expects both earnings per share and headline earnings per share to be at least 150 cents. This is much higher than the 39 cents recorded in the previous corresponding period. The uptick is mainly due to an increase in demand in the markets that the group operates in, certain once-off recoveries in 2017 and a recovery in the group’s subsidiary in the DRC. Bell will issue a further trading statement before the release of its results on or around the 16th of March 2018.
In currencies, the rand continued to strengthen against most major global pairs, in-line with an uptick in emerging-market currencies. However, it proved to be a somewhat volatile session. After a previous close of R13.756/$ on Monday, the rand weakened during the morning to touch a low of R13.794/$ at 11:50. However, from there, it rebounded to reach a high of R13.582/$ at 18:40. After erasing some of its gains overnight, the local currency is back at R13.68/$ this morning.
In Asia, markets are off to a mixed start, with investors somewhat cautious after a ballistic missile launch by North Korea landed just off the coast of Japan. The Australian ASX featured among the top performers, with the index adding 0.55% to just above the 6,100 index point level. The Japanese Nikkei managed to add 0.38%, on track to end higher for the first time this week. Mainland markets are in negative territory, with the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng falling 0.49% and 0.35% respectively.
Don’t miss the action: Sign up today and receive FREE research, trade ideas, company insights, market views and exclusive seminar invites direct to your inbox.