Stronger world markets boost JSE


Cape Town – The JSE traded firmer on Wednesday with most sectors in the green, as US markets soared to record highs after the Senate Budget Committee approved President Donald Trump’s tax bill.  

The rand firmed toward the end of the session, closing at R13.69 to the dollar, as the US currency firmed against most major currencies. 

The JSE’s All-Share index climbed 0.56% to 60 418, which was matched by the blue-chip Top40 gaining 0.58%. 

The local market was led by gains across most sectors, with Resources firming by 0.63%, Financials ending the day up 0.58% and Industrials gaining 0.53% 

On the international front, while North Korea declared it had successfully tested a new ICBM overnight that put all of the US mainland within range, investors and analysts were unfazed by the latest provocation. 

READ: North Korea claims nuclear statehood with US in missile strike range

Gold eased to $1 285 per ounce Wednesday, putting pressure on local miners, with the gold mining index slipping 0.12% 

After Naspers [JSE:NPN] released interim results mid-afternoon, its share price gained 0.77% to trade at R3 809 per share.   

While the results at face value appear strong, taking a deeper look presents a mixed outcome with Tencent continuing to do the heavy lifting. 

MultiChoice SA remains positive, but was affected by currency fluctuations and weaker trading as competitors enter the market. In summary, Naspers is still losing money overall on most of its e-commerce ventures, whilst Tencent flatters the result. 

Consumer goods group Steinhoff was up 2.65% to R56.48 Wednesday, as the company continues to reject claims that link it to accounting irregularities. 

Small cap share Master Plastics, meanwhile, reached a high of R1.90 per share on Wednesday. The company has doubled its share price in the last 6 months. 

Recently listed Long4Life gained 1.71% to trade at R4.75, following an announcement that Investec had increased its stake in the business to 10% earlier in the week. 

In the US, Wall Street soared to record closing highs on Tuesday after the Senate Budget Committee approved the Republican tax bill, a crucial procedural step toward a vote by the full chamber later this week.

The next big market event will be a second estimate of third-quarter economic growth, set to be announced Wednesday.

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