Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS
Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

The JSE closed firmer on Friday, after positive Chinese data lifted the resources index, despite a stronger rand.

Iron ore miner Kumba rallied 7.74% to R253.90 and ArcelorMittal 4.81% to R5.45‚ after China’s balance of trade data showed record imports of the base metal.

Chinese imports grew 18.7% in September from the same month in 2016‚ far higher than an economists’ consensus of 13.5% from a poll by Trading Economics.

At the same time the US inflation print for September came in slightly lower than expected, weakening the dollar. Local mining shares tend to favour a weaker rand, but a softer dollar usually boosts demand for commodities.

The all share added 0.22% to 57,878.6 points, while the top 40 gained 0.19%. The former added 1.13% this week.

The property index added 1%, platinums 0.9%, resources 0.67% and financials 0.47%.

Gold miners lost 0.45% and food and drug retailers 0.11%.

Banks and insurance stocks were mixed despite the stronger rand‚ which extended its gains after a lower-than-expected US consumer inflation print.

Banks in particular had a good week‚ with the index gaining almost 4%. FirstRand, however, weighed on the index on the day, dropping 1.89% to R53.35, after reporting that it was considering acquiring the entire share capital of UK lender Aldermore.

There were few major risk events moving into the weekend, with fears of further moves over Catalan’s push for independence from Spain appearing to do little to move markets, analysts said.

Oil prices climbed, however, as investors await an expected speech by US President Donald Trump on Iran. There were widespread expectations Trump would pull US support for a recent nuclear deal, and adopt a more combative stance.

Diversified miner Glencore gained 2.64% to R66.80, Anglo American 1.71% to R261.08 and BHP 1.67% to R247.90.

Exxaro was up 2.51% to R144.23 and Assore 2.47% to R290.

Rand-hedge Richemont lost 1.19% to R122.97 and British American Tobacco 0.5% to R860.

Industrial group Imperial Holdings fell 1.72% to R203 and Bidvest 1.53% to R176.22. Earlier, Imperial announced that the chairperson of its risk committee‚ Younaid Waja‚ had resigned as an independent nonexecutive director.

Investment holding group Remgro added 1.05% to R227.36, while Brait fell 2.22% to R55 and Reinet 1.43% to R29.

Impala Platinum added 2.81% to R31.78 and Anglo American Platinum 1.85% to R361.50.

Northam Platinum dropped 2.7% to R46.08‚ despite earlier announcing Global Credit Ratings had upgraded its long-term credit rating to A-from BBB+.

Standard Bank added 2.09% to R171 and Capitec 1.3% to R938.

Nepi Rockcastle helped lift property index, adding 4.05% to R189.21, after earlier announcing it had entered into an agreement to acquire two Polish shopping centres.

Stadio added 3.82% to R6.80, after earlier announcing it was buying Milpark Business School for R320m, in partnership with Brimstone.

ISA Holdings plunged 16.25% to R1.34, after earlier saying headline earnings per share for the six months to end-August were expected to decline between 20% and 40%.

At 5.05pm global markets were mixed, with the Dow up 0.19% and the Nasdaq 0.33%. The FTSE 100 was off 0.15% and the CAC 40 was down 0.03%, while the DAX 30 had added 0.16%, to another record high.

At the same time, gold was up 0.42% to $1,298.69 an ounce, platinum 0.33% to $940.81 and Brent crude 0.91% to $56.89 a barrel.

Shortly after this the rand was at R13.2844 to the dollar from R13.4498.

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