Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE closed firmer on Friday on an upbeat opening on the Dow and a firmer euro, which supported European markets on the day.

The pick-up came after a fairly negative week, centred on concern over an escalating global trade war.

"It seems as if some of the risk-averse sentiment in the market has subsided for the moment," said TreasuryOne trader Andre Botha.

The rand firmed to R13.4274 to the dollar from R13.5834, supporting banking, property and retail stocks.

Platinums shares rose on a higher metal price, while industrials found favour after Naspers jumped more than 3% following the earlier release of a mixed bag of results for the year to end-March.

Naspers’s numbers reflected an increased dependence on Chinese internet and gaming company Tencent. The group’s internet segment, comprising its 31.2% stake in Tencent, now contributes 79% of group revenue — up from 73% last year. The e-commerce segment reported a trading loss of $673m, a slight improvement from 2017.

Naspers now has net cash of $8.2bn following the sale of a 2% stake in Tencent earlier in the year. The group said it would continue to reduce development spend, which was down 17% for the year. Shareholders have been clamouring for a bigger dividend, rather than increased spending on loss-making e-commerce interests.

Naspers’s annual gross dividend was increased by 12% to 650c per N share (those that trade openly on the JSE).

Brent crude was 2.07% higher at $74.55 a barrel after oil cartel Opec members reached an agreement on increased production at their Vienna talks. However, the expected real increase of between 600,000 and 800,000 barrels per day fell short of market expectations.

The Dow was 0.54% higher at the JSE’s close and the FTSE 100 had risen 1.4%. If the Dow closes higher, it will be the first time in nine consecutive sessions.

The all share closed 1.11% higher at 56,856.7 points and the top 40 gained 1.2%. The platinum index rose 1.46%, industrials 1.45%, banks 1.44%, general retailers 1.18%, food and drug retailers 0.85%, and property 0.6%. The all share ended the week 1.39% lower.

Anglo American rose 1.26% to R303.19. Sasol slipped 0.63% to R467.88. Remgro gained 1.74% to R204.50.

FirstRand rose 2.59% to R61.40 and Standard Bank 0.95% to R190.24.

Discovery leapt 5.58% to R150.50 amid generally positive comment from management after government gazetted the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill on Thursday.

Steinhoff added 2.46% to R1.25. It said earlier in a statement that its negotiations to sell Austrian furniture chain Kika-Leiner to Signa were near conclusion.

Shoprite rose 2.51% to R228.60. Dis-Chem was 0.68% lower at R26.32 amid reports that directors of the group were hedging exposure to their own shares.

Growthpoint rose 1.75% to R26.15. Vodacom climbed 2.98% to R126.82. Naspers was up 3.1% to R3,307.43.