Min­ing out­put fig­ures boost JSE

Business Day - - FRONT PAGE - Page 17

The JSE closed firmer on Thurs­day, with min­ers performing best af­ter pro­duc­tion fig­ures for the sec­tor in De­cem­ber sur­prised to the up­side. A weaker rand added to gains in the JSE gold and plat­inum in­dices, with higher com­mod­ity prices fur­ther boost­ing the two sec­tors. /

The JSE closed firmer on Thurs­day, with min­ers performing best af­ter pro­duc­tion fig­ures for the sec­tor in De­cem­ber sur­prised to the up­side.

Global mar­kets were weaker, how­ever, as the num­ber of new cases and deaths from the coro­n­avirus, also known as Covid-19, were re­ported, dent­ing in­vestor hopes that the out­break will be con­tained any time soon.

A weaker rand added to gains in the JSE gold and plat­inum in­dices, with higher com­mod­ity prices fur­ther boost­ing the two sec­tors.

Min­ing pro­duc­tion for De­cem­ber grew 1.8% over the pre­vi­ous year, Stat­sSA said ear­lier, while the Bloomberg con­sen­sus was for a con­trac­tion of 3.5%. Pro­duc­tion for all of 2019, how­ever, fell by 1.3%.

The JSE plat­inum in­dex leapt 4.31% and the gold in­dex 2.54%. At 5.52pm, gold had gained 0.68% to $1,576.16/oz and plat­inum 1.54% to $972.96. Brent crude was 0.37% lower at $56.08 a bar­rel. The JSE all share gained 0.16% to 57,835.69 points and the top 40 0.92%. Banks were down 0.50% and fi­nan­cials 0.24%.

Asian and Euro­pean mar­kets dipped on news that the num­ber of the coro­n­avirus cases is much higher than orig­i­nally re­ported, af­ter pa­tients tested us­ing a dif­fer­ent di­ag­nos­tic method were in­cluded. Ear­lier this week, Chi­nese of­fi­cials re­ported that the spread of the virus had peaked, and might be con­tained soon. In a Thurs­day me­dia con­fer­ence, how­ever, China con­firmed more than 15,000 new cases and 254 ad­di­tional deaths.

“It seems stock mar­kets are not en­tirely im­mune to the ef­fects of Covid-19, but they were putting up quite a fight in the face of more dis­tress­ing fig­ures on Wednesday,” said Oanda se­nior an­a­lyst Craig Er­lam. “China adopted a broader def­i­ni­tion to in­clude those clin­i­cally di­ag­nosed. This un­ex­pected ad­just­ment is a timely re­minder of the scale of the dis­ease, just as in­vestors were start­ing to be­lieve we were turn­ing a cor­ner.”

Ear­lier, the Shang­hai Com­pos­ite was down 0.71%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.34% and Ja­pan’s Nikkei 225 0.14%. The Dow was last seen down 0.3% to 29,463.25, while in Europe the FTSE 100 had weak­ened 1.47%, France’s CAC 40 0.50% and Ger­many’s DAX 30 0.24%.

At 6.06pm, the rand weak­ened 0.27% to R14.8946/$, 0.13% to R16.1679/€ and 1.04% to R19.4403/£. The euro was down 0.18% to $1.0851.

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