Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE was marginally higher on Thursday, given a lift by a rand recovery and higher prices for some commodities.

The rand firmed a little, while some pressure on the dollar also assisted some miners. Banks gained the most, recovering 2.68%, having started the session 7.5% lower for the week.

Market focus is on events in the US, with the White House widely expected to impose further tariffs on China later in the day, a move that is expected to escalate its trade dispute with that country.

On Friday, US jobs numbers will be closely watched, amid expectations that, should the US Federal Reserve continue raising interest rates, one of the results may be further pressure on the rand.

On Thursday, two employment reports underscored the health of the economy, said Dow Jones Newswires. Weekly jobless claims in the US fell by 10,000 to 203,000 in the week before the Labor Day holiday, touching the lowest mark since the final weeks of 1969, the newswire said. Meanwhile private-sector employment was weaker than expected, with a gain in August of 163,000 jobs.

The all share rose 0.05% to 57,130.5 points and the top 40 0.12%. Banks gained 2.68% and financials 1.28%. The resources index fell 1.05%.

FirstRand gained 3.9% to R67.35, after earlier declaring a R2.75 final dividend for the period to end-June, an 8% increase on the prior year’s R2.55.

Nedbank gained 3.25% to R263.33.

Sanlam rose 0.17% to R76.75, after reporting a 3% growth in net profit in the six months to end-June.

EOH gained 6.1% to R36.55, despite warning earlier it expected to report on October 3 that headline earnings per share (HEPS) had declined by up to 70% in the year to end-July.

Shortly after the JSE closed the Dow was down 0.13%, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 had lost 0.79%, the DAX 30 0.6% and the CAC 40 0.11%.

Platinum had risen 0.68% to $790.67 an ounce and gold 0.37% to $1,201.15. Brent crude was down 1% to $76.34 a barrel.