Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE was a little patchy in quiet trade on Friday, but still appeared on course to finish the week positively.

Mining stocks were relatively well-supported on the day, coinciding with upbeat data from China, the top commodity consumer. Chinese imports rose by an annual rate of 18.7% in September, comfortably beating expectations of 13.5% and suggesting strong underlying demand from the world’s second-largest economy.

Kumba Iron Ore and Exxaro Resources were among the top gainers in the resources sector, though their influence on the broader market is inconsequential.

The all share was flat at 57,743.60 points at lunchtime, suggesting some participants were taking a breather after pushing the benchmark gauge to a series of record highs over the past few days.

Banks and insurance stocks were mixed despite a stronger rand, which hovered at a three-week high to the dollar of R13.37. Banks, in particular, had a terrific run during the week, with the index gaining almost 4%.

Big industrial stocks were also muted amid signs of apparent consolidation.

World equity markets were mostly higher on the day, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 closing at its best level in more than a decade.

"It’s been a relatively calm week for financial markets and yet, with indices continuing to trade at record highs, there is plenty of reason for optimism," Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam said. "With the global economic outlook improving all the time, central banks have a new and equally difficult challenge on their hands: unwinding years of unconventional monetary stimulus and adapting to what has become known as the new norm."

Kumba Iron Ore was up 4.66% to 246.62, Assore 2.22% to R289.29 and Exxaro Resources 2.59% to R144.35. Impala Platinum rose 3.01% to R31.84.

Transport and logistics group Imperial was off 1.92% to R202.60 and Super Group 3.18% to R40.24.

Private equity group Brait, which is 35% owned by billionaire investor Christo Wiese, was off 2.22% to R55.

Liberty gained 2.47% to R112.55 and Lewis 4.93% to R28.93.

Stadio added 3.05% to R6.75 and EOH 2.75% to R101.99.

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