The JSE closed firmer on Wednesday just 146 points shy of its previous record high, as Naspers, diversified miners, Sasol and Mondi led the way in generally upbeat trade. Volumes were on the high side, at R26.5bn, with the daily average about R20bn. Analysts said that although the weaker rand trend remained, the local currency had firmed to R13.5467 to the dollar during the course of the day, from R13.6888, ahead of crucial US non-farm payroll data, set to be released on Friday. A better-than-expected number would support the dollar and the prospects of a US rate hike in December, while a weaker one would favour emerging-market currencies, such as the rand. Softer US ADP payroll data for September, released on the day, gave little direction to the dollar, which was flat, in choppy trade, at the JSE’s close. The rand was at R13.62 to the dollar. The local market, closing firmer for the fourth consecutive day, was supported by the continued rise in a number of global markets. The Dow ...

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