JSE tracks world markets firmer ahead of US jobs data

The JSE was firmer in early afternoon trade on Friday in line with global markets‚ with investors focusing on US jobs data later in the session that could provide an indication as to whether the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates any time soon.

The market consensus is for 185‚000 new jobs created in August from 255‚000 in the previous month‚ but a higher number would increase the likelihood of a US interest-rate rise in September‚ as that would indicate a healthy US economy.

The previous two jobs readings were strong‚ but disappointing economic growth in the first half of the year and turmoil in overseas markets had kept the central bank on hold since it last raised rates in December 2015‚ Dow Jones Newswires said.

Platinum shares rose despite a softer spot price‚ while general retailers were marginally higher after five days of losses.

At 2pm‚ the all share was 0.78% firmer at 53‚043.3 points and the blue-chip top 40 had added 0.8%. Platinums were up 2.41%‚ banks recovered 2.52% and financials rose 1.11%. Industrials firmed 0.79%.

European markets were higher‚ with the UK’s FTSE up 1.06% and the French CAC 40 having added 0.81%. The German DAX was 0.24% firmer.

Asian markets were flat to marginally firmer on Friday morning. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.01%‚ but the Hang Seng rose 0.45%. The Shanghai Composite added 0.13%.

Among individual shares on the JSE‚ Anglo American was up 1.14% at R152.99‚ while BHP Billiton was 0.79% firmer at R189.63‚ with the latter trading ex-dividend.

Sasol recovered 0.46% to R365.68.

Among platinums‚ Impala Platinum rose another 4.87% to R64.85 following the release of annual results earlier in the week.

Nedbank gained 3.26% to R210.50 and Standard Bank firmed 3.23% to R134.44.

Mr Price shed another 0.56% to R167.55. It released a disappointing sales update on Wednesday. It has lost 23% so far this week.

Among property stocks‚ Hyprop was 1.91% lower at R123. Hyprop declared a total distribution of 619.9c per share for the full year on Friday‚ up 14.2% from the previous year‚ with the dividend for the six months to June increasing 14.9% to 322.10c per share.



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