Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE all share pushed its gains for January to 4.23% on Friday as retailers zoomed up following a market pleasing sales update from Truworths on Thursday.

The rand also improved as the dollar remained out of favour after the fiasco of president-elect Donald Trump’s media briefing this week.

The JSE all share closed 0.67% higher at 52,794.80 points and the blue-chip top 40 added 0.76%. General retailers gained 3.90% and food and drug retailers 1.11%. Industrials lifted 1.09% and property 0.85%. The gold index shed 1.77%.

The market was buoyed by this week’s trading updates from Truworths and Woolworths, indicating that the tide may soon be turning for general retailers, which lost 11% in 2016.

Truworths leapt 7.82% to R82.01, Woolworths 3.76% to R68.48 and Mr Price 4.22% to R159.35.

Richemont was 0.75% higher at R103.66, ending the week 14.6% firmer.

Steinhoff added 2.43% to R70.85.

Retail trade numbers for November are due on January 18, but only marginal growth is expected.

Denker Capital analyst Kokkie Kooyman said the JSE kicked off 2017 on a far better footing than it did in 2016 with the "reflation tide from the US" expected to bring stronger growth and higher interest rates.

Sasol gained 0.99% to R423, despite Brent crude being 0.43% lower at $55.84 a barrel in early evening trade.

The rand strengthened to R13.50/$ earlier this week when the market cut back on buying the dollar after Trump failed to give specifics on his promises to stimulate US economic growth. At 6.26pm, it had firmed further R13.4661 to the dollar from Thursday’s R13.5107.

The South African bond market was firmer on Friday evening albeit in quiet trade ahead of the US long weekend, with Monday being Martin Luther King day.

At 6.30pm the benchmark R186 was bid at 8.65% from Thursday’s 8.69% and the R207 was bid at 7.935% from 7.955%.

Futures tracked higher international markets with the local near-dated top-40 Alsi futures index gaining 0.70% to 46,504 points, with 27,286 contracts traded from 35,184 on Thursday.

The Dow was 0.18% higher at the JSE’s close on financial stocks with JP Morgan Chase exceeding fourth-quarter expectations. Upbeat US data again pointed to solid economic conditions there.

With Reitumetse Pitso and Maarten Mittner

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