The JSE swung into gains in the afternoon session on Friday to close firmer on the day and up on the week as well.
Global markets were still relatively upbeat following news from Thursday which highlighted that the USA and China were planning to hold high-level talks next month. Focus in today’s session was on economic data from the USA which released its monthly jobs data. According to the Non-Farm Payrolls data released this afternoon, the US economy managed to add 130 000 jobs in August which fell short of the anticipated 160 000 jobs. US markets opened lower as a result with market participants forecasting for bigger interest rate cuts in future given the disappointing job number.
On the currency market, the US dollar retreated against a basket of major currencies as indicated by the US dollar index. Emerging market currencies advanced as well which saw the rand peak at a session high of R14.71/$. At 17.00 CAT, the rand was trading 0.85% firmer at R14.74/$.
On the JSE, KAP Industrial Holdings [JSE:KAP] surged 4.93% to close at R5.11, while Tsogo Sun Hotels [JSE:TGO] also recorded gains of 1.56% to close at R3.90. Telecoms provider Vodacom [JSE:VOD] rose 2.88% as it closed at R119.35, while its sector peer MTN Group [JSE:MTN] added 2.01% to close at R103.13. RMB Holdings [JSE:RMH] was buoyed by the release of a decent set of full-year results which showed an increase in NAV and earnings. This resulted in the share closing 2.26% higher at R75.22. Aspen Pharmacare [JSE:APN] surged 2.79% as it closed at R82.58, while Massmart [JSE:MSM] extended its gains by 3.69% to close at R48.00.
Of the day’s losers, Sasol [JSE:SOL] was in the spotlight as it announced a further delay for the release of its financial results. The stock fell 4.05% to end the day at R260.53. Miners continued to struggle on the local index with losses being recorded for African Rainbow Minerals [JSE:ARI] which lost 2.36% to close at R164.03, Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] which dropped 1.37% to close at R878.43, and Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] which fell 1.67% to end the day at R80.14. Other significant losers on the day included Discovery Ltd [JSE:DSY] which lost 1.37% to close at R118.09, and Naspers [JSE:NPN] which dropped a more modest 0.7% to close at R3565.00.
The JSE All-Share index closed 0.32% firmer while the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index managed to also add 0.32%. The Resources index remained subdued eventually closing 0.24% lower. The Financials and Industrials indices managed to gain 1.03% and 0.21% respectively.
At 17.00 CAT, Gold was up 0.06% at $1520.04/Oz, Platinum was only up 0.01% to trade at $960.00/Oz, and Palladium had lost 0.85% to trade at $1550.50/Oz.
Brent crude retreated on the back of increased output from OPEC which saw the commodity being recorded trading 1.05% softer at $60.37/barrel just after the JSE close.
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