Picture: MICHAEL BRATT
Picture: MICHAEL BRATT

The JSE closed higher on Monday, tracking most global markets as investors cheered some positive comments in the US-China trade war. 

White House adviser Larry Kudlow said on Monday that the scheduled December tariffs on Chinese goods could be withdrawn should negotiations go well, Reuters reported.  

This follows comments by US President Donald Trump last week when he said he hoped a deal would be signed by mid-November. 

China’s vice-premier Liu He said on Friday that China will work with the US to address the concerns of both countries and that stopping the trade war would be in the interest of both parties.

Markets are also awaiting some direction regarding Brexit after UK lawmakers opted not to back Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposed deal at the weekend. Johnson has written to Brussels asking to extend the October 31 deadline.

“Although EU leaders have left the doors open for a Brexit extension beyond October 31, this is simply kicking the can further down the road,” said FXTM senior research analyst Lukman Otunuga.

The rand continued to recover from last week’s losses, which were worsened by Eskom implementing load-shedding. Investec economist Annabel Bishop said in a note that the rand will remain volatile ahead of key domestic issues.

“We believe the rand will remain volatile, with the resolutions to the Eskom crisis, security of electricity supply and alleviating pressures on economic growth all key. SA is likely to see Moody’s Investors’ Service downgrade the country outlook to negative post the medium-term budget policy statement, signalling a credit-rating downgrade will occur unless the escalation in the debt trajectory is halted,” Bishop said.

At 6.02pm, the rand was flat at R14.7817/$, 0.19% weaker at R19.1864/£ and 0.14% firmer at R16.4771/€ . The euro weakened 0.17% to $1.1143.

Gold was down 0.34% to $1,485.86/oz and platinum 0.49% to $886.36. Brent crude lost 1.15% to $58.61 a barrel.

The Dow was flat at 26,790.76 points, while, in Europe, the FTSE 100 added 0.22%, France’s CAC 40 0.47% and Germany’s DAX 1.07%. Earlier, the Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng were flat, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.25%

The JSE all share gained 0.7% to 56,110.80 points and the top 40 0.65%. Resources rose 1.41% and banks 0.83%. 

Cashbuild fell 0.61% to R210.50. The company said on Monday that its new stores helped lift its revenue by 2% for the first quarter to end-September. 

Balwin Properties leapt 6.73% to R3.17. The landlord said on Monday that its headline earnings per share increased 5% to 40c in the six months to end-August.

Merafe Resources gained 2.41% to 85c. This despite the mining company saying on Monday that its attributable ferrochrome production from the Glencore-Merafe Chrome Venture decreased about 29% in the third quarter to end-September.

Capital & Counties jumped 8.74% to R51.50 following reports that luxury developer Candy Ventures is in the early stages of considering an offer for the company.

Locally, the Reserve Bank is expected to publish the leading business indicator for August on Tuesday. The median forecast is for the indicator to have fallen to 103.7 points from 103.9 in July, according to Bloomberg.

Foreigners were net sellers of R1.379bn of equities and net buyers of R4.226bn of bonds in the week ended October 18, according to the JSE market statistics.

mjoo@businesslive.co.za