Markets

JSE records fifth consecutive weekly gain

The JSE closed at another record high on Friday, its fourth this week, but just missed a close above 56,000 points after hitting 56,032.9 in intra-day trade.

The all share closed 0.47% higher at 55,944.80 points, for a weekly gain of 1.93%, its fifth week of gains. The bourse is now 10.45% to the good this year.

Broad-based gains, with platinums and resources leading, drove the all share higher on the day, with banks and industrials also in positive territory. Strong intra-day performances from food and drug retailers, as well as property stocks, faded by the close.

The gold index ended the day lower on a weaker gold price after the dollar firmed against the euro on strong US non-farm payroll data for July, but marred again by disappointing hourly earnings data.

Non-farm payrolls rose by 209,000 in July, from an expected 183,000. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3% from 4.4%. Average hourly earnings for all employees rose by a modest 9c to $26.36, meaning that over the year, average hourly earnings have only risen 2.5%.

The JSE followed upbeat global markets after the Dow Jones industrial average crossed 22,000 points during the week. The index is up 11.45% so far in 2017.

The rand weakened in late afternoon trade, for a weekly drop of 3.5% to the greenback, its worst weekly performance since March, when President Jacob Zuma fired then finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Analysts cited political issues as clouding the outlook for the rand ahead of next week’s parliamentary no-confidence vote.

Bonds held up relatively well with the R186 bid at 8.65% from 8.635%. US bonds were sold off in response to the US jobs data with the 10-year bond yield at 2.2738% from 2.2224%.

Petrochemical group Sasol closed 1.52% higher at R409.63. Brent crude was 0.79% up at $52.30 a barrel in early evening trade.

British American Tobacco rose 0.75% to R880.05. It gained 4.52% in the week after losing 8.3% in the previous week.

Barclays Africa rose 1.29% to R146.51, up 1.79% for the week.

Liberty was a casualty on the day on disappointing interim results, closing 6.06% lower at R105.50.

Growthpoint was 1.06% lower at R25.23.

The top-40 Alsi futures index gained 0.71% to 49,579 points, a record high. The number of contracts traded was 18,163 from Thursday’s 21,705.

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