South Africa

Trading Day – China unrest hits markets

Widespread protests against the Covid controls in China have erupted across the nation, resulting in a downturn in the market.

The protests started in Urumqi, Xinjiang, after a building fire killed ten people. Reportedly Covid controls prevented them from being rescued.

Tesla issued a recall for more than 80,000 cars in China for a software update to the battery management system and potential faulty seatbelts.

US markets were muted on Friday, with the S&P 500 remaining flat and the Nasdaq declining by 0.5%.

The Nikkei 225 is down 0.5% in early morning trade, while the Hang Seng index dropped by 2%.

In local markets, Barloworld’s unbundling of Zeda (Avis) has been finalized.

Here is the biggest news of the day.

  • China unrest boils over as protests against Covid controls erupt across the nation. The unrest came as infections surged, prompting more local Covid controls, while a central government policy change earlier this month had raised hopes of a gradual easing. On Friday, demonstrations started in Urumqi, Xinjiang, after a building fire killed ten people the prior day. It was claimed on social media that Covid controls prevented residents and rescue workers from saving lives. A vigil for the Urumqi deaths turned into a protest against Covid and the ruling Communist Party of China. Some unverified videos also showed calls for President Xi Jinping to step down.
  • Tesla issued a recall for more than 80,000 cars in China. The company is recalling a total of 67,698 imported Model S and Model X vehicles produced between September 2013 and November 2020 due to a software issue that affected the battery management system. It is also recalling 2,736 imported Model 3 vehicles produced between January and November 2019, as well as 10,127 of the China-made version of this car due to a potentially faulty seatbelt.
  • Barloworld’s unbundling of Zeda (Avis) has been finalized. Zeda will separately list on the JSE under the ticker ZZD. The last day to trade to be entitled to the distribution of unbundled Zeda shares is 12 December.
  • Invicta Holdings reports a sharp drop in profits. Revenue for the half-year period grew by 7% to R3.83 billion, while profit dropped 50% from R662 million to R330 million. Basic earnings per share declined 52% to R2.72, while headline earnings per share increased 43% to R2.68. The board is not recommending an interim dividend but intends to pay an annual dividend based on a cover ratio between 2.75 and 3.25 times on sustainable earnings.
  • Truworths approved for a secondary listing on the A2X, effective from 5 December.