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The local bourse advanced marginally on Wednesday as global stocks staged a minor rebound following broad-based declines in the prior session. Stocks in Europe were buoyant with gains being recorded across all the major indices, while US stocks also managed to open firmer.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.15% weaker however, the Nikkei and Hang Seng advanced 0.89% and 0.46% respectively. Locally, inflation data released by Statistics SA indicated that consumer inflation ticked up in the month of January. The CPI year-on-year rose to 4.5% from a prior recording of 4.0%, while CPI month-on-month was unchanged from its prior recording of 0.3%.

The rand traded mostly firmer on day as it peaked at a session high of R14.92/$ before it eased towards the close, to be recorded trading 0.1% firmer at R14.98/$ at 17.00 CAT.

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On the JSE, Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] recorded another session of robust gains as it surged 13.71% to close at R2.82, while Tharisa Holdings [JSE:THA] rallied 9.61% to close at R14.26. Miners advanced in today’s session which saw gains being recorded for Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] which added 9.92% to close at R106.00, as well as Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] which added 9.28% to close at R53.45.

Platinum miners also contributed significantly to the day’s gains with advances being recorded for Northam Platinum [JSE:NHM] which rose 7.93% to close at R148.82, as well as Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] which gained 6.72% to close at R1395.69. Significant gains were also recorded for Woolworths [JSE:WHL] which advanced 2.61% to close at R44.36, and African Rainbow Minerals [JSE:ARI] which closed at R168.51 after rising 2.28%. 

Steinhoff International [JSE:SNH] traded under significant pressure as it closed 10% lower at R1.62. Alexander Forbes Holdings [JSE:AFH] also reeled as it tumbled 6.76% to close at R5.10, while Transaction Capital [JSE:TCP] which had successful accelerated bookbuild also fell 6.76% to close at R24.15. Dis-Chem [JSE:DCP] which highlighted tough trading conditions in its 22 weeks trading statement dropped 1.88% to close at R23.55. Telecoms provider, Telkom [JSE:TKG] lost 3.26% to close at R30.57, while oil and gas producer Sasol [JSE:SOL] dropped 1.76% to close at R223.00. Losses were also recorded for Bidvest [JSE:BVT] which fell 1.18% to close at R210.26, as well as Famous Brands [JSE:FBR] which closed at R60.26 after losing 2.18%.

The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 0.46% firmer while the JSE Top-40 index managed to gain 0.48%. The Industrials and Financials indices retreated 0.12% and 0.08% respectively, while the Resources index lifted the all-share index after it surged 1.59%.

Brent crude picked up some upside momentum in today’s session as it was recorded trading 1.4% higher at $58.56/barrel just after the JSE close.At 17.00 CAT, Platinum was up 1.14% to trade at $1002.96/Oz, Palladium had surged 2.51% to trade at $2702.20/Oz, and Gold was 0.16% firmer at $1604.30/Oz.

*Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group

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