JSE. Picture: BLOOMBERG / WALDO SWIEGERS
JSE. Picture: BLOOMBERG / WALDO SWIEGERS

The JSE pushed higher on Monday morning, led by gold miners and Naspers, benefiting from some risk-on trade in Asia.

China’s top central banker said on Sunday he was confident the US and his country were close to an agreement on currency issues, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

Accusations from the US that China was engaged in currency devaluation to boost its exports has been a major factor in US President Donald Trump’s trade war.

The rand was slightly softer on a weaker dollar, which remains weighed down by the disappointing US nonfarm payrolls report, which was released on Friday. The US added only 20,000 jobs in February — against the 180,000 eyed by the market.

This was, however, the 101st consecutive month of jobs growth in the world’s largest economy.

At 10.05am the rand was 0.4% firmer at R14.3733/$.

The all share was up 0.47% at 55,751.9 points and the top 40 had added 0.53%. Industrials were up 1.01%, platinums 0.99% and gold miners 0.5%. Banks were down 0.5%.

Gold had lost 0.17% to $1,296.60/oz and platinum 0.25% to $515.11.

Brent crude was 0.75% higher at $66.16 a barrel.

Absa was down 1.29% to R170.12. It earlier reported that return on equity improved to 16.8% in the year to end-December, from 16.5% in the previous comparative period. It lifted its dividend by 4% to R11.10 a share.

Old Mutual fell 1.84% to R21.38. It said earlier that adjusted headline earnings decreased by 11% to R11.5bn in the year to end-December.

Sanlam was down 2.9% to R77.

Diversified miner BHP was up 1.02% to R325.51.

Naspers gained 2.61% to R3,151.68.

AVI was flat at R90.72. It said earlier that headline earnings for the six months to end-December 2018 fell 5.6% to R1.06bn, compared with the corresponding period in 2017.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za