Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The JSE snapped a four-session losing streak on Thursday, rebounding from losses shortly before the market closed, due to a strong performance by Naspers.

The rand was firmer, lifted by a sharp increase in interest rates in Turkey, news that the US and China were set to hold a new round of trade talks, as well as tepid US inflation data.

Further support came from a softening oil price, which retreated after Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a less severe category.

The all share gained 0.38% to 56,166.9 points and the top 40 rose 0.35%. The platinum index gained 1.96%, general retailers 1.54% and industrials 0.62%. Property stocks fell 0.48%.

Local data was downbeat, with mining production data for July missing expectations, contracting 5.2% year on year, a far cry from the 3% growth expected by a Bloomberg consensus forecast.

Commodity prices have suffered of late, as indicated by the Economist base metals index, which is down about 16% since January, said Investec economist Lara Hodes. Rising geopolitical tension and heightened trade concern had reinforced investor concerns about global growth, threatening demand, while policy uncertainty had added pressure to the sector domestically.

Most JSE-listed miners were lower, although the platinum index was lifted by a firmer metal price, and better results from Impala Platinum.

Implats gained 5.38% to R17.63, despite reporting a loss for the year to end-June of R10.8bn, but this was largely due to a R13bn impairment, with the miner recording operational improvements.

Raubex firmed 1.73% to R20.55, despite earlier warning that headline earnings per share (HEPS) could drop as much as 80% for the six months to end-August.

Aspen Pharmacare slumped 14.84% to R232.06, after earlier announcing the sale of its global infant nutrition business for about R12.9bn, as it continues to focus on its pharmaceuticals.

Naspers firmed 3.31% to R3,155, having been under pressure earlier in the week due to losses by Hong Kong associate Tencent, whose core gaming business is under scrutiny by Chinese regulators.

Shortly after the JSE closed the Dow was up 0.32% to 26,081.32 points, while in Europe, the FTSE 100 had lost 0.42%.

The DAX 30 was up 0.28% and CAC 40 0.15%.

At the same time platinum had risen 0.86% to $805.07 an ounce while gold had lost 0.13% to $1,204.45. Brent crude was 1.5% lower at $78.50 a barrel.

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