The JSE was relatively flat at lunchtime on Friday, holding its own against much weaker global markets.

The gold and platinum sectors did the heavy lifting, countering a patchy performance in other sectors. As a result, the all share was flat at 55,395,60 points, looking to end the week at a break-even point.

Fresh worries over whether US President Donald Trump would be able to proceed with his promised fiscal stimulus weighed on global risk appetite, analysts said. "Trump has been no stranger to controversy in his short time as president, but the latest entirely unnecessary and avoidable situation could prove quite costly for him," Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam said in a note.

"Trump has already, this week, been forced to dissolve his manufacturing council, and the strategic and policy forum, while his infrastructure council never even got off the ground."

In Europe, leading stock markets were weaker by about 1%, a day after a terror attack in Spain left at 13 people dead and scores others injured.

On the JSE, gold stocks benefited from a higher gold price and a slightly weaker rand. AngloGold Ashanti was up 3.64% to R135.10 and Harmony Gold 6.4% to R24.45.

Anglo American Platinum rose 3.56% to R339.90, Impala Platinum 2.16% to R38.72. But Sasol, which is sensitive to oil prices and the rand, dropped 2.14% to R390.50.

Furniture retailer Lewis surged 9.17% to R31.66 amid mounting speculation that the Reserve Bank could ease monetary policy next month, but the rally came off a very low base.

Construction stocks continued to be volatile, with Aveng losing 6.49% to R3.60 while Group Five rose 3.16% to R15.

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