Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE pushed to its best intraday level in about a year on Friday as global jitters abated, allowing market participants to accumulate recently beaten down shares.

Mining shares attracted a fair amount of support amid the improvement in commodity prices, with Brent crude hitting $53 a barrel for the first time in four weeks.

Retailers rose with banks as the rand recovered from Thursday’s soft patch, caused by political tension in Brazil and the US.

But the star performer in the top 40 was Steinhoff, following its proposal late on Wednesday to separately list African retail assets on the JSE.

The shares of the consumer goods group gained 4%, bringing a two-day rally to 7% in a move that translated into a R20bn gain in market value.

Europe’s leading markets were higher at midday, in line with US stock futures, following their counterparts in Asia, where sentiment was stable.

"It’s been one of the quieter days of the week so far in terms of major news flow or economic data and yet markets are anything but flat as we near the US open, with the events of the previous days continuing to have an impact," Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam said.

The JSE’s all share index was up 0.4% at 54,412.9 at noon.

Kumba had added 5.1% to R160.54 as the iron price stabilised near $60 a tonne. Assore was up 3.4% to R209.91. Anglo American Platinum gained 2.23% to R315.02 but Sibanye Gold dropped 4.76% to R26.

Transport and logistics group Imperial, which is sensitive to the rand’s movements, rebounded 3.47% to R164.37.

Truworths rose 2.08% to R74.20 and Massmart added 2.65% to R121.54.

Sugar producer Tongaat was up 4.08% at R118.23 following its trading update in which it said it expected full-year headline earnings to rise as much as 45%.

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