Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE closed marginally higher on Wednesday, despite upbeat local data and as Naspers failed to capitalise on Tencent’s earlier gains on the Hang Seng.

Tencent, of which Naspers owns 31.2%, closed 0.59% higher. After trading 1% weaker in the day, Naspers ended the day 0.2% lower at R3,365. It usually tracks moves in Tencent’s share price.

Other rand hedges, together with the global miners, generally ended the day higher. Retailers, along with platinum stocks, were the main losers as Shoprite tumbled an initial 6% after the group reported that hyper-inflation in Angola had reduced its turnover growth. It ended the day 3.73% lower at R212.30.

Total turnover at Shoprite grew by 3.3% to approximately R145.6bn in the year to end-June 2018. Its supermarkets in SA grew sales by 5.7%.

The market was eyeing Thursday’s interest-rate decision by the Reserve Bank, with the rand’s recent strength likely to be a positive factor in the Bank’s decision. "Often, the rand is seen as a fear factor by the Reserve Bank, as the currency’s volatility and sensitivity to risk-off sentiment negatively impacts inflation, particularly that of fuel costs," said IG SA senior analyst Shaun Murison.

Murison said that with inflation being realised below Reserve Bank estimates, it seemed unlikely that lending rates would change at Thursday’s monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting, especially while economic growth remained weak.

May’s retail sales growth recovered to 1.9% from April’s sharp slowdown after new taxes came into effect. This was more than double the consensus of 0.8%, according to a poll by Trading Economics.

Earlier, consumer inflation for June came in slightly higher than in May, but was lower than expected. Inflation grew at an annual rate of 4.6% in June, from 4.4% in May. Economists expected 4.8%.

The Dow opened flat, while the FTSE 100 was up 0.58% on a weaker pound at the JSE’s close, following data showing inflation growth in the UK was lower than expected. The DAX 30 had risen 0.75%.

The all share closed 0.22% higher at 56,237.2 points and the top 40 gained 0.35%. Resources rose 0.73%, banks 0.44% and industrials 0.12%. Platinums shed 1.36% and the gold index 1.35%.

BHP rose 1.51% to R287.92 after releasing a better-than-expected production report.

Global luxury goods company Richemont rose 2.1% to R113.64.

Absa gained 1.08% to R159.71 and Nedbank 1.44% to R261.14.

Steinhoff rebounded 6.38% to R3.

Vodacom rose 3.61% to R129.84 and Sappi 1.14% to R90.32.