It should be frowned upon for a minister or proxy to call a CEO of a state entity enquiring about opportunities for comrades, writes Mpumelelo Mkhabela.
More sun than clouds. Cool.
United States non-farm payrolls for the month of December came in lower than expected as the US economy added 145 000 jobs instead of the forecast 160 000 jobs.
The rand recovered from its earlier slump which saw it fall to a session low of R14.45/$. The local unit rallied to peak at a session high of R14.19/$ before it was recorded trading 0.44% firmer at R14.23 against the dollar.
Locally, the South African Reserve Bank decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.50% as the bank reiterated that future policy decisions would continue to be data driven.
US indices recorded fresh all-time highs led by tech shares as the main equity bourses continued to show signs of resilience. The upward momentum started off in Asia as the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.55% and 1% higher respectively.
Markets in Asia did have some direction primarily on the back of weaker than expected Chinese GDP numbers which fell to a 30-year low of 6.0% QoY.
The JSE also shrugged off earlier momentum from Chinese markets which rallied on the optimism of a partial trade deal. The rand held on to its gains as it peaked at a session high of R14.72/$ before it was recorded trading 0.01% firmer at R14.79/$ at 17:00.
With the Chinese markets still closed for a holiday, the Hang Seng and Nikkei lost 0.19% and 0.49% respectively as they reacted to worse than expected US economic data.
The greenback strengthened against a basket of major currencies which saw it peak as high as 99.46 index points on the US dollar index.
Positive GDP growth out of the USA also aided in reassuring market participants that the US economy was still strong despite the risks associated with trade war.
Miners have surged over the past couple of sessions on the back of firmer metal commodity prices, which have risen on the back of the tensions between the USA and Iraq.
The local bourse got off to a slow start as it retreated marginally in earlier trading before it found momentum towards the afternoon session.
The United States bill could potentially complicate the ongoing US-China trade talks which could result in a deal not being signed soon.
The local bourse took a leaf from the firmer closes in Asian markets where the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.35% and 0.8% higher respectively, while the Nikkei managed gains of 0.49%.
The local bourse shrugged off gains that were recorded in Europe and the United States of America following the announcement that the United Kingdom and European Union had agreed on a Brexit deal.
With the United States earnings reporting season having kicked off today following the release of earnings from some of the major banks, investors shifted their focus to the health of the US companies.
Reactions to the headlines about the trade war have become fickle as the tension has been drawn out, however there seems to be an elevated sense of optimism that the current talks will yield a partial deal.
With Chinese markets closed for a holiday, there was little sentiment filtering from that market. In Japan, the Nikkei eventually closed 0.59% firmer.
Major world indices tracked higher on the day starting off in Asia where the Nikkei rallied 1.19%, while the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.08% and 0.25% respectively.
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