Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

South African futures were higher on Thursday, despite the JSE all share closing flat, while the Dow opened firmer and European markets gained on a weaker euro.

The euro fell after the European Central Bank (ECB) only gave a measured hint in respect of further reducing its quantitative easing programme, as inflation in the bloc remained subdued.

The JSE all share closed 0.06% off at 58,926 points and the top 40 gained 0.10%. General retailers fell 2.22%, platinums 1.91%, the gold index 1.57%, banks 1.45% and food and drug retailers 1.48%. The property index was up 1.16% and industrials 0.22%.

President Donald Trump was expected to sign a decree that laid out his plan for levies on steel and aluminium imports, this week. He might spare major trading partners Canada and Mexico, according to published reports, Dow Jones Newswires said.

Fears about a potential global trade war have weighed on markets in March, leaving the Dow down 0.9% to date. The resignation late on Tuesday of pro-trade White House adviser Gary Cohn has added to these concerns. Cohn left after failing to derail Trump’s tariffs plan.

A trade war could threaten US economic growth. Trading partner the EU has lined up retaliatory action if the Trump administration imposes levies on its products, the newswire reported.

The top-40 Alsi futures index gained 0.28% to 52,200 points. The number of contracts traded was 23,679 from Wednesday’s 32,894.

© Business Day

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