The New York Stock Exchange. Picture: DREW ANGERER
The New York Stock Exchange. Picture: DREW ANGERER

The JSE tracked global markets higher on Friday, after US non-farm payrolls climbed to a 10-month high, easing concern that the world’s largest economy is slowing down.

The labour data, which is considered a crucial indicator of the state of the US economy, rose by 266,000 in November from 156,000 in October. The latest figure is above market expectations of 180,000, according to Trading Economics.

On the trade-war front, White House national economic council director Larry Kudlow said on Friday that the US and China are close to reaching a trade deal but that the former could “walk away” if their terms are not met, CNBC reported.

China’s foreign ministry said on Friday that it will waive import tariffs on some soybeans and pork from the US.

The markets were mainly driven by conflicting messages from the US and China this week. Earlier, US President Donald Trump said the trade war may only be resolved after the 2020 US elections, despite reports that negotiators from the two economic superpowers were maintaining close communication. 

Shortly after the JSE closed, the Dow was up 0.99% at 27,951.96 points. In Europe, the FTSE 100 had added 1.25%, France’s CAC 40 1.13% and Germany’s DAX 30 0.84%.

Earlier, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.43%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 1.07% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 0.23%.

The rand recorded its second week of gains against the dollar, driven by trade-war optimism, which was somewhat offset by a negative GDP print earlier in the week. GDP contracted 0.6% in the third quarter.

At 6.25pm the rand had firmed 0.13% to R14.6317/$, 0.64% to R16.1652/€ and 0.46% to R19.1894/£. The euro had weakened 0.51% to $1.1048.

The R2030 government bond was slightly stronger, with the yield falling 1.5 basis points to 9.195%. Bond yields move inversely to their prices.

Gold was down 0.96% to $1,461.59/oz and platinum 0.22% to $894.3.

Brent crude added 2.09% to $64.58 a barrel, recording its biggest weekly gain in six. The oil price has been supported by oil cartel Opec’s decision to cut production by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) to at least March 2020. 

After the Opec and Opec+ meetings, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the country would continue its voluntary cut of 400,000 bpd, which saw oil prices jump in New York.

The JSE all share gained 0.96% to 55,307.3 points and the top 40 0.98%. Banks rose 1.34%, while gold miners fell 2.72%. The all share was flat for the week.

African Rainbow Capital said on Friday that its subsidiary TymeBank is adding about 100,000 customers a month. African Rainbow Capital rose 0.24% to R4.15.

Aveng group said on Friday that the sale of  its Grinaker-LTA Ground Engineering business fell through due to a purchaser being unable to raise the requisite funding of R7.5m. Its share price gained 100% to 2c. The company’s share price has lost  more than 99% of  its value since the end of 2017.

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