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JSE closes firmer after a choppy trading session

Musa Makoni

The JSE held on to its gains to close firmer on Thursday as global markets remained upbeat following consecutive sessions of gains.

Trading was relatively choppy across the JSE and on European counters as investors waited in anticipation for the ECB’s press conference following its interest rate decision. As widely expected, the ECB has resolved to stop its asset purchase program which has been in place for nearly a decade. The primary impact of this move is the reduction of liquidity within the capital markets however, the ECB cautioned when it comes to tightening its monetary policy any further given the slower growth.

The ECB’s press conference resulted in some volatility for the euro as it lost ground against the greenback. The stronger US dollar also saw the rand giving back its gains as it fell to a session low of R14.22/$. The rand was trading 0.6% weaker at R14.18/$ at 17.00 CAT.

South Africa’s Producer Price Index data for November was relatively positive. PPI MoM slowed down to 0.4% from a prior recording of 1.4%, while YoY it decreased to 6.8% from a prior recording of 6.9%.

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On the JSE, miners led most of the gains despite weaker metal commodity prices. Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX] climbed 7.08% to close at R138.46, Sibanye Stillwater [JSE:SGL] gained 4.96% to R10.16, while Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] was buoyed by the release of a positive trading update which saw the stock adding 2.53% to R532.99. Blue Label Telecoms [JSE:BLU] managed to post gains of 4.05% as to end the day at R5.40, while Imperial Logistics [JSE:IPL] firmed by 2.75% to close at R67.30.

On the losers counter, Mondi PLC [JSE:MNP] struggled as it fell 3.3% to R294.90, while fellow rand hedge, Bid Corporation [JSE:BID] lost 1.82% to close at R260.76. British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] closed 1.31% weaker at R486.14, and index giant Naspers [JSE:NPN] also faced headwinds as it dropped 1.3% to end the day at R2820.01. Pan African Resources [JSE:PAN] came under significant pressure as it fell 5.06% to R1.50, while Rhodes Food Group [JSE:RFG] shed 2.79% to close at R18.50.

The JSE All-Share index inched up 0.26% while the JSE Top-40 index barely closed 0.08% firmer. The Industrials index closed 0.36% softer, however the Resources and Financials indices managed to record gains of 1.18% and 0.43% respectively.

Brent crude traded relatively mixed, which saw it trading 0.95% firmer just after the JSE close after having struggled for most of the day’s session.

At 17.00 CAT, Platinum was down 1.37% at $792.42/Oz, Palladium had lost 0.32% to trade at $1261.30/Oz, and Gold was 0.23% weaker at $1242.77/Oz.

Bitcoin was down 1.87% at $3487.50/coin, and Ethereum had lost 0.58% to trade at $92.38/coin.