Stocks on the JSE edged marginally higher on Friday after a difficult week of trading in which investors shunned riskier assets due to weak economic data.
On Friday investors shifted their attention to key jobs data out of the US which came in relatively mixed.
The US economy managed to add 136 000 jobs in September which was slightly worse than the forecasted number of 145 000 jobs. However, the US unemployment rate fell to 3.5% from a prior recorded level of 3.7%.
This data saw US markets open firmer on the day, while the major indices in Europe also advanced.
On the currency market the rand extended its gains against the greenback as it peaked at a session high of R15.06/$. The rand was recorded trading 0.66% firmer at R15.04/$ at 17:00 CAT.
Rand sensitives were bolstered by the firmer rand as they traded mostly firmer on the day. Telkom [JSE:TKG] surged 5.57% to close at R73.54, while MTN Group [JSE:MTN] climbed 3.74% to close at R95.75.
PSG Group [JSE:PSG] had a stellar outing as it gained 4.94% to end the day at R224.11, while African Rainbow Capital [JSE:AIL] added 3.6% to close at R4.61.
Retailers also advanced on the day with gains being recorded for Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK] which advanced 3.29% to R59.09, and Massmart [JSE:MSM] which closed at R44.40 after adding 1.37%.
Other significant gainers on the day included Bid Corporation [JSE:BID] which gained 2.3% to close at R333.50, and Capitec Bank Holdings [JSE:CPI] which added 2.22% to close at R1 328.88.
Construction firm Raubex Group [JSE:RBX] came under significant pressure as it fell 5.23% to end the day at R19.77, while food producer Rhodes Food Group [JSE:RFG] lost 4.37% to close at R14.00.
Gold miners retreated in Friday's session as losses were recorded for DRD Gold [JSE:DRD] which lost 6.68% to close at R6.99, and Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] which dropped 2.09% to close at R78.27.
Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] gave back some of the prior session's gains as it lost 2.54% to close at R1 030.69, while diversified miner South32 [JSE:S32] fell 1.56% to end the day at R24.57.
UK focused listed property stock, Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] lost 2.28% as it closed at R7.73, while Capital & Counties [JSE:CCO] fell 1.74% to end the day at R42.33.
The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 0.67% firmer while the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index added 0.48%. The resources index struggled on the day eventually closing 0.19% weaker. The financials and industrials indices managed to record gains of 1.32% and 0.69% respectively.
Brent crude recorded a relief bounce as it was recorded trading 1.4% higher at $58.52/barrel just after the JSE close.
At 17:00 CAT, gold was 0.11% firmer at $1 506.66/Oz, palladium had rallied 1.7% to trade at $1 683.95/Oz, and platinum was down 1.32% at $876.60/Oz.
* Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group.