Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The rand appeared to cheer UK Prime Minister Theresa May's ability to survive Wednesday night’s no-confidence vote, with the currency trading at R17.82/£, R16.06/€ and R14.13/$ at 6.20am.

May’s survival also helped Asian markets remain buoyant. Naspers’s main asset, Tencent, was up 0.82% to HK$319.40, helping the Hang Seng index rise 1.34%.

In Sydney, BHP was up 2% to A$32.84, helping the ASX 200 index gain 0.32% and pointing to a good day for the JSE’s miners.

The JSE’s all share index desperately needs the past few days’ “Santa rally” to continue to mitigate its losses for 2018.

Image: Iress

The all share index ended 2017 at 59,505 points. But, from a strong start in which it set a record of 61,777 points on January 26, the stock exchange spent most of the year in the doldrums before sinking under 50,200 points in December. 

A recent rebound to 51,598 points has helped the JSE reduced its year-to-date loss to 13%.

No JSE-listed companies are diarised to release results on Thursday, but it is a busy day on the economics front with 10 scheduled releases from Stats SA.

The most important of these is November’s producer price index (PPI) at 11.30am. The economists’ consensus is factory and farm gate inflation, as measured by the annual change in PPI, will have slowed to about 6.8% from October’s 6.9%.

At 9am, Stats SA will release its report on civil cases for debt in October and the September quarterly financial statistics at 9am, and then October’s wholesale trade sales and quarterly financial statistics of municipalities at 10am.

Other Stats SA reports on Thursday include October’s export and import unit value indices, November’s construction materials price indices and October’s building statistics. 

Stats SA also releases its bi-annual domestic tourism survey at 1pm.