Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The JSE pushed a little higher on Monday, with a relatively stronger rand playing out favourably for some industrial stocks, but trading volumes remained thin ahead of a public holiday on Tuesday.

The all share index was up 0.37% to 52,746.80 points at lunchtime as the stronger local currency lifted the outlook on the retailers but held back diversified miners.

Earlier in the day, the rand touched R12.64 to the dollar, its best level since 2015, boding well for the outlook on inflation. The Reserve Bank expects inflation to fall back within target band of 3%-6% later in the year.

Internet and video entertainment group Naspers was the top performer among the top 40 companies as market awaited quarterly results from Chinese company Tencent, in which Naspers holds a 34% stake. The results are due on Wednesday.

"It’s a relatively quiet day today as a lot of people are away," BP Bernstein Stockbrokers trader Vasilis Girasis said. The total value of shares traded was shy of R3bn at lunchtime, well below average of more than R5bn in a normal day.

Europe’s leading markets were lower at midday, breaking ranks with their counterparts in Asia where Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.79%.

US stock futures were relatively flat, suggesting that Wall Street would struggle to find direction when it opened on Monday afternoon.

"Global markets have exhibited remarkably muted reaction to the US federal open market committee rate hike, but in the sessions ahead a more realistic appraisal might well materialise, impacting overall market sentiment," Momentum SP Reid analysts said.

Among some individual stocks, Exxaro was up 2.24% to R123.21, with Impala Platinum gaining 1.93% to R44.38.

Transport and logistics group Imperial was up 1.95% to R186.71 and Bidvest gained 1.6% to R162.95.

Naspers was up 2.35% to R2,269.94 while packaging group Nampak rose 2.84% to R16.30. Tiger Brands was up 1.89% to R429.96.

Truworths was up 2.53% to R93.52 and PPC gained 2.67% to R6.93

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