The JSE closed firmer on Thursday amid positive local economic data, while fresh hopes for the US fiscal stimulus package lifted sentiment.

US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi and US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed hope for a breakthrough in stimulus negotiations, with Mnuchin saying that an agreement had been reached on the contentious issue of direct payment to Americans. This has cleared a significant hurdle in moving forward with more fiscal stimulus to combat the effects of the coronavirus on the world’s biggest economy.

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