Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

After closing weaker for the past four sessions, the JSE all share bounced back on Thursday amid the hope that global trade tensions could be addressed.

This followed on the news that the US treasury secretary will look to reopen trade talks with China in two weeks. Positive comments from the EU on the Irish border could also make reaching a soft Brexit deal a reality, Oanda analysts said.

The risk-off sentiment benefited the rand, which broke through R15 to trade at R14.8740 for the first time in just more than a week as the euro firmed to above $1.16 again, reaching $1.1643 in overnight trade.

Global miners were up in early trade but further rand strength is likely to have a negative effect on them.

Naspers rocketed more than 3% at the opening as Asian markets rebounded.

Implats jumped on its annual numbers, but Aspen plummeted as the group said currency issues had affected it. Local platinums gained after the metal price jumped above $800/oz to $803.33/oz.

Market focus has now shifted to the interest-rate decisions due from both the Bank of England (BoE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) later in the day. The central banks are likely to reaffirm their cautious and gradual tightening of monetary policy.

The BoE recently raised interest rates above 0.5% for the first time since the financial crisis and the ECB is planning to close its quantitative easing policy at the end of 2018.

The Dow Jones closed 0.11% up on Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.96% and the Hang Seng added 2.13% on Thursday.

At 9.30am the all share was up 0.86% at 56,432.10 points and the top 40 rose 0.93%. Platinums rose 1.77%, industrials 1.2%, general retailers 0.88%, the gold index 0.76%, property 0.73% and banks 0.63%.

British American Tobacco slipped 0.4% to R733.82.

Impala Platinum (Implats) rose 5.02% to R17.57. Annual profits improved by R2.1bn to R1.6bn but earnings were affected by impairments of R13.6bn, mainly due to the restructuring of Impala Rustenburg.

Among banks, Absa rose 0.79% to R150.88 and FirstRand 0.72% to R66.88.

Mr Price lifted 1% to R213.09 and Woolworths 0.51% to R51.26.

Nepi Rockcastle gained 1.19% to R139.90.

Naspers rose 3.31% to R3,154.99.

Aspen dropped 8.33% to R249.79. The group’s revenue was up 3% to R42.6bn and normalised headline earnings per share increased by 10% in the year to end-June.

Lower earnings in the second half of the year were primarily influenced by the unfavourable effect of the strengthening in the rand, the group said.

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