JSE records broad-based gains, led by banks
The local bourse was firmer despite new tariff threats by the US against Europe and China, with the weaker dollar proving supportive for local equities
The JSE capped the week with a fourth consecutive day of gains on Friday, as a softer dollar helped ensure some miners and interest rate-sensitive stocks pushed higher.
The dollar has wobbled since US President Donald Trump took aim at the US Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increasing cycle on Thursday, an unusual move for a sitting president. Trump reinforced his views on trade in a series of tweets on Friday, accusing the Chinese and the EU of artificially weakening their currencies.
Global markets were mixed, with European stocks lower, while Asian markets earlier pushed higher on a falling Chinese yuan. The yuan hit a one-year low against the dollar on Friday after Beijing guided its official exchange rate down by 0.9% to 6.7671 to the dollar, the largest retreat in two years, reported Dow Jones Newswires.
The rand was firmer through the course of Friday, boosting banks and financial stocks. Naspers was also higher, tracking gains in Hong Kong-listed Tencent, of which it has a sizable stake.
The all share added 1.27% to 56,990.2 points, while the top 40 gained 1.4%. Banks rose 2.54%, industrials 1.89%, platinums 1.9% and general retailers 1.6%. The all share has gained 1.11% for the week.
Gold Fields added 2.14% to R47.68 and Anglo American Platinum 2.71% to R355.90.
Naspers rose 1.79% to R3,448.50.
Diversified miner Glencore fell 1.33% to R54.90 and BHP 1.08% to R285.34. Exxaro fell 6.09% to R124.62 and Kumba Iron Ore 4.29% to R287.55.
Rand hedge British American Tobacco gained 3.72% to R697.50 and Richemont 2.93% to R118.83.
Absa gained 3.28% to R161.99 and Standard Bank 2.61% to R199.07.
Discovery gained 4.48% to R158.26.
TFG firmed 3.18% to R166.39.
Technology group EOH lost 0.98% to R42.37, following Thursday’s gain of 21%. The rally came after the company appointed a new CEO, Stephen van Coller.
Sasol gained 0.77% to R502.84, despite reporting earlier that earnings fell by up to 62% during its 2018 financial year.
Shortly after the JSE closed, the Dow was flat at 25,069 points, while in Europe, the export-heavy DAX 30 had fallen 1.2%, the CAC 40 0.49%, and the FTSE 100 0.17%.
At the same time, platinum had gained 2.28% to $827.18 an ounce and gold 0.51% to $1,229.09. Brent crude was 0.74% higher at $73.06 a barrel.