JSE lifts on global rally

(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)
(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

Johannesburg - The global rally in stock prices continued on Monday morning and the JSE was on the same bandwagon, although gains were much smaller than on Friday when all major indices on local markets rallied strongly.

Wall Street set new records again on Friday and the Asian markets exended that rally on US President Donald Trump’s promise of a “phenomenal” tax plan to boost the US economy, which gave markets worldwide a new lease of life.

Analysts said investors now look ahead to data that will provide detail on the strength of US consumer prices, and speeches from a range of Federal Reserve officials.

The positive sentiment spilled over to the commodity sector, where iron ore surged and copper climbed on Friday.

The rand however also strengthened, putting a cap on the prices of the dual-listed shares which represent most of the local market’s value. By mid-morning the local currency was trading 0.64% stronger at R13.31, indicating that President Jacob Zuma’s populist rhetoric in the State of the Nation speech has not been taken too seriously.

The All-share index was 0.67% higher at 53 039 points, while the Top 40 index was 0.65% stronger at 46 053. Financial shares were again among the best performers, gaining 1.025% while the Resources index was 1.05% higher on the back of stronger commodity prices. The industrial index lifted 0.35%.

Sanlam [JSE:SLM] was again at the centre of attention and traded 2.72% higher at R66.58 after gaining 3.55% over the previous seven days. The insurance group reported a ‘rapid’ uptake of Go Cover, South Africa’s app-based, first on-demand accident cover product, which was launched in November 2016.

The product, created by a team of around 12 people in three months, offers adrenaline junkies, holiday makers and seasonal workers cover of up to R1m for 24 hours or 30 days at a cost of between R10 and R30.

Among the top banks Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] traded 0.90% higher at R145.82 and FirstRand [JSE:FSR] was 0.88% stronger at R51.88. Barclays Africa [JSE:BGA] gained 0.45% to R162.87.

African Phoenix [JSE:AXL] is still one of the busiest stocks on the JSE and more than 16 million shares were sold for R7m. The share, which originates from Abil, the previous holding company of African Bank, traded unchanged at 46c.

Naspers [JSE:NPN] did not gain much from a strong flow of money from mainland China into Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The share gained 0.71% to R2 193.05. Naspers owns 34% of Tencent, the biggest company in China, which is also listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Tencent traded only 0.49% higher in Hong Kong.

Steinhoff’s [JSE:SFH] recovery, which saw the share price gaining more than 5% over the previous week, continued on Monday morning and the stock traded 1.19% stronger at R71.14. Aspen [JSE:APN] gained 1.01% to R310.46 and Mondi [JSE:MND] was 0.12% higher at R303.81.

Anglo American [JSE:AGL] was the star performer in the resources sector and traded 4.65% higher at R230.06. Glencore [JSE:GLN] was 1.94% higher and BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] gained 1.32% to R232.80.

Fin24's parent company Media24 is part of the Naspers Group.

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