Picture: 123RF/RATTANASIRI INPINTA
Picture: 123RF/RATTANASIRI INPINTA

The JSE was firmer on Thursday morning, bolstered by gains in Tencent and general retailers, as markets eyed the Reserve Bank decision later.

Naspers and local retailers had been largely responsible for the all share's gains on Wednesday, when global stocks recovered a little after sharp sell off earlier in the week.

At 9.45am the all share was up 0.53% to 51,592.2 points and the top 40 0.58%. Industrials had gained 1.08% and general retailers 1.33%.

Analysts are evenly split on whether or not the Reserve Bank will raise interest rates, with the market having partially priced in a 25 basis point increase.

Of the 21 economists in a Bloomberg survey, 11 forecast the repo rate will be increased by 25 basis points to 6.75%, while 10 expect the Bank to hold at 6.5%.

Global market activity is expected to be subdued by the US Thanksgiving Day Holiday. It was, however, a busy day on the JSE in terms of corporate results.

Mr Price jumped 4.53% to R247.68, after reporting that its headline earnings per share (HEPS) and dividend for the six months to end-September had both risen 11%, to 494.3c and 311.4c respectively.

Rand hedge AB InBev was down 2.72% to R1,057.32.

Naspers was up 2.46% to R2,782.89, tracking gains in Hong Kong-listed Tencent. Technology stocks have come under strain this week after Apple lowered its outlook for demand for iPhones, as well as concerns about decelerating global economic growth.

Tiger Brands fell 0.51% to R269.52, having earlier reported that revenue declined 9% to R28.5bn in the year to end-September.

Gold was up 0.11% to $1,227.14 an ounce while platinum had fallen 0.25% to $843.88. Brent crude was 0.57% lower at $63.16 a barrel.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za