Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE was on track for its sixth-consecutive session of gains on Friday, lifted this week by progress in the US-China trade war as well as an unexpected interest rate cut from the SA Reserve Bank.

At midday on Friday, the local bourse was on track to add more than 2% for the week, with most global markets positive on the day.

Data earlier showed that China, the world’s second-largest economy, ended 2019 on a slightly positive note as a result of a trade truce with the US. Progress in the economically damaging conflict is seen to have restored business confidence and the economic growth potential of the country.

“Chinese data overnight offered some cause for optimism, with industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment all comfortably beating market expectations”, said Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam.

“The phase 1 trade deal with the US has partially lifted the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the economy, although numerous tariffs remain in place,” Erlam said. “If these numbers are anything to go by, 2020 could be a far more productive year for the world’s second-largest economy,” he said.

Easing trade tension has made manufacturers more optimistic about the business outlook, though analysts believe that many of the tit-for-tat tariffs both sides imposed during the trade war remain in place.

Earlier Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 0.45%.

At 12.30pm, JSE all share was up 0.74% to 58,647.4 points and the top 40 was 0.84% higher. Banks were down 1.26% and financials 0.74%. Gold miners were up 0.59%.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 was up 0.82%, France’s CAC 40 1.09% and Germany’s DAX 30 0.86%.

State-focused landlord Delta Property Fund rose 1.47% to 69c. It said earlier that it has sold R104.4m of its shares in Grit Real Estate, and will use the proceeds to reduce debt and supplement its capital expenditure.

The company has sold about 6.5-million shares in Grit Real Estate for R16.06 per share in an off-market transaction, with the move reducing its shareholding in that property counter to 5.7%, from 7.8% previously.

Grit was down 1.47% to R16.75.

tsobol@businesslive.co.za

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