Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

South African futures closed lower on Thursday, despite a slightly stronger JSE, as the Dow opened weaker on fears of a US government shutdown.

The Reserve Bank’s somewhat dovish monetary policy announcement on Thursday lifted banks and retailers, with the rand gaining after Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago announced the repo rate would remain at 6.75%.

Local and international risk-events could dampen sentiment heading into the weekend.

On Friday, focus remains on the continuing ANC national executive committee meeting, where the fate of Jacob Zuma’s presidency may be discussed. Reports have suggested that while Zuma may be discussed, the issue may not dominate proceedings.

Internationally, Friday marks the deadline for the US Congress to reach a deal on lifting the country’s debt ceiling, which would avoid a government shutdown.

Fears over the shutdown weighed on the dollar on Thursday, as Republicans struggled to secure a stop-gap bill and Democrat leaders blocked this, demanding further concessions on immigration policy first, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

General retailers on the JSE rose 4.39%‚ banks 1.87% and food and drug retailers 1.52%. The property index shed 2.06%‚ platinums 1.84% and resources 0.82%.

The all share was up 0.13% at 61‚007.10 points shortly before the close‚ but due to technical difficulties the JSE was recalculating the final close of the all-share and financial indices.

The top-40 Alsi futures index lost 0.36% to 54,338 points. The number of contracts traded was 15,684 from Wednesday’s 22,865.

At 6.17pm, the Dow had given up 0.32%, while European markets were mixed. The DAX 30 had added 0.59% while the FTSE 100 had lost 0.47% and the CAC 40 0.25%.

At the same time, platinum had gained 0.37% to $1,003.81 an ounce and gold 0.31% to $1,330.10. Brent crude was off 0.22% to $69.26 a barrel.

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