Cape Town – The JSE closed lower on Thursday after a mixed session where
the index failed to get a clear direction. The All-Share was 0.42% lower, with
the blue-chip Top 40 and industrials down by 0.31% and 0.84% respectively.
Miners were mixed with Pan African Resources [JSE:PAN]
closing down by 19.72% after being sold-off in response to the operational
update released on Thursday morning, restating the gold production due to operational
difficulties at Barberton Mines. While Lonmin [JSE:LON] and Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] closed up by 3.28% and 2.51% respectively.
Elsewhere, financials gained 0.08% on the day, as Capitec [JSE:CPI]
regained 5.55%, bolstered by a statement from S&P Global Ratings agency
dismissing claims that Capitec was hiding bad loans.
Meanwhile, property stocks continued to feel the pressure, with
Resilient [JSE:RES] down 7.38%, Nepi Rockcastle [JSE:NRP] down 13.61% and Fortress
B [JSE:FFB] down 11.40%.
The rand was somewhat
weaker against major currencies, giving back some of Wednesday’s gains,trading
at R11.89 to the dollar, R16.88 to the pound and R14.79 to the euro.
Gold prices inched up, trading at $1 344.90 per ounce, after Wednesday night’s Fed announcement that it was holding rates steady with a view to
raise rates in March, a move that was widely expected.
Elsewhere, silver was trading down at $17.15 per troy ounce, while
platinum continued to ease, trading at $1 003.10 per troy ounce.
Oil prices climb even though analysts warn that US shale
producers could ramp up production, potentially derailing OPEC’s effort to curb
excess supply. Brent Crude is currently trading at $69.48/bbl and WTI trading at
Most of the Asian markets eked out modest gains on the day after
the sell-off earlier this week. Japan’s Nikkei surged to closed up by 1.68%, offsetting
the declines in China’s Shanghai Composite which closed down by 0.99%.
Corporate earnings set the tone in European markets which
cold not hold on to earlier gains despite a stronger euro and pound.The CAC-40 closed
down by 0.42%, the DAX down by 1.25% and the FTSE down by 0.29%.
US equities open down as stocks give back some of their
strong gains from last month, ahead of tech giants Apple, Alphabet and Amazon earnings
announcements. Investors will now focus on Friday’s non-farm payrolls as it is
a crucial indicator of the health of the US economy.
Bitcoin trades under $10 000 amid fears of increased
regulatory scrutiny, posting a monthly decline of 25.88%, while Ethereum gained
52.19% in January.