Banks, financials nudge JSE higher

JSE. Picture: REUTERS
JSE. Picture: REUTERS

The JSE closed marginally higher on Tuesday, with banks and financials leading the gains.

Investors were closely watching US retail sales data, released earlier in the day, as markets look for any catalysts that will encourage the US Federal Reserve to cut interest rates more sharply than expected at its next meeting.

The JSE all share rose 0.9% to 58,052.70 points and the top 40 0.99%. Banks gained 1.81% and financials 1.28%.

US retail sales for June rose 0.4% month on month, unchanged from May, and double the 0.2% expected by analysts in a Bloomberg poll.

Industrial production month on month was also unchanged from 0.4% previously.

Investors now await the SA Reserve Bank’s decision on Thursday, with speculation that it may cut the interest rate by 25 basis points.

“With an expectation of a rate cute on Thursday, we could see a knee-jerk weakening for the rand based on the yield-seeking behaviour of the market at the moment,” TreasuryONE senior currency dealer Andre Botha said in a note.

Standard Bank rose 2.2% to R192.14, Absa 2.02% to R172, Firstrand 1.65% to R65.99, and Nedbank 1.49% to R250.23.

Sasol gained 3.35% to R337.86. Alexander Forbes rose 2.88% to R6.07, Sanlam 2.32% to R77.55, and Discovery 1.33% to R143.75. Old Mutual rose 1.57% to R22.

Anglo American Platinum gained 1.24% to R805.95 after it said its earnings per share for the six months ended June would likely increase between R26.90 and R28.54 from 831c in the previous period.

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