Picture: MICHAEL BRATT
Picture: MICHAEL BRATT

The JSE brushed off a weaker rand and pushed higher on Friday, in line with healthy gains on Asian markets.

Asian stocks were buoyed by a rally in China, after index group MSCI said it would increase the proportion of mainland Chinese stocks in its global benchmarks.

At 10am Naspers was flat, however. This was inline with its main asset Tencent, which was failing to benefit from the rally.

The all share was up 0.22% at 56,127.3 points and the top 40 0.21%. General retailers had gained 1.38%. Platinums were down 1.23% and gold miners 1.04%.

Gold was down 0.32% to $1,309.08/oz and platinum 0.33% to $868.95. Brent crude was 0.63% higher at $66.80 a barrel.

Corporate results have given the local bourse much of its direction this week.

African Rainbow Minerals was flat at R167.71. It earlier declared a dividend of R4 for the six months to end-December, up from the R2.50 it declared in the prior comparative period.

AB InBev gained 1.59% to R1,112.020. It gained 5.36% on Thursday, having reported that revenue grew 4.8% in the year to end-December.

British American Tobacco rebounded 1.81% to R521.09 . It fell 1.59% on Thursday, despite having said that adjusted revenue grew 3.5% in the year to end-December, while adjusted earnings per share grew 11.8% year on year.

Richemont was up 1.56% to R108.68.

Distell was up 2.5% to R123, having earlier reported that headline earnings rose 12.1% in the six months to end-December, while net cash generated from operations grew 35.8% when compared to the corresponding period in 2017.

MTN slumped 3.64% to R80.48. The group said after markets closed on Thursday that headline earnings per share (HEPS) in the year to end-December would be between 80% and 90% higher than in 2017, or between 328c and 346c, despite its troubles in Nigeria. However, some analysts had expected a bigger increase.

Blue Label Telecoms fell 3.51% to R4.40, extending Thursday's 25.49% plunge. It had said that gross profit grew 15% to R1.31bn in the six months to end-November, although it swung into a headline loss per share of 15.02c, compared to headline earnings per share (HEPS) of 166.86c in the prior comparative period.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za