The JSE advanced for a third consecutive session as it closed firmer on Wednesday on the back of broad-based gains across all the major indices.
This contrasted with the trend in other global markets which either traded flat or recorded modest gains on the day.
Market participants continue to wait in hopes of an amicable trade deal being reached between China and the US, given news that has come out this week of both sides willing to make concessions to get a deal done. Locally, blue-chip stocks maintained their momentum from their prior session as they advanced.
The rand retreated along with other emerging market currencies against the US dollar. The local unit bottomed out at a session low of R14.87/$ before it was recorded trading 0.6% weaker at R14.83/$.
On the JSE, platinum miner Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] rallied 6.62% to close at R108.00, while Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] gained 5.77% to close at R1 178.09.
Dis-Chem Pharmacies [JSE:DCP] continued to stage a rebound as it added another 4.9% to close at R24.00. South32 [JSE:S32] gained 2.65% to close at R27.09 following the announcement of its divestment from South Africa Energy Coal, while fellow diversified miner BHP Group [JSE:BHP] added 0.95% to end the day at R337.14.
Tobacco producer, British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] rose 2.63% to close at R542.39, Barloworld [JSE:BAW] gained 1.68% to close at R127.00.
Some of the retailers shrugged off the weaker rand as gains were recorded for Shoprite [JSE:SHP] which added 1.59% to close at R141.42, as well as Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK] which closed at R71.41 after adding 2.42%.
Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] came under significant pressure following the release of a trading update which resulted in the stock plummeting 20.48% to close at R6.25. Hammerson PLC [JSE:HMN] also retreated on the day as it lost 2.53% to close at R53.88, Fortress REIT [JSE:FFB] dropped 1.33% to end the day at R8.88.
RCL Foods [JSE:RCL] struggled as it declined 7.39% to close at R9.02, while industry peer Rhodes Food Group [JSE:RFG] closed 5.39% lower at R15.61.
Other significant losers on the day included Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX] which fell 2.08% to close at R128.15, Redefine Properties [JSE:RDF] which lost 2.42% to close at R8.07, and Assore [JSE:ASR] which closed at R243.93 after losing 2.81%.
The JSE Top-40 index closed 0.84% firmer while the broader JSE All-Share index gained 0.71%. All the major indices advanced on the day.
Industrials added 0.9%, Resources rose 1.03%, and financials added 0.47%.
Brent crude traded mostly flat on the day before it was recorded trading 0.06% weaker at $62.92/barrel just after the JSE close.
At 17:00 CAT, Palladium was up 0.9% at $1 795.30/Oz, gold was 0.18% firmer at $1 486.30/Oz, and platinum was 0.01% weaker at $928.40/Oz.
* Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group.