The JSE edged higher on Monday as it tracked other global markets higher, inspired by trade optimism.
The latest surge was on the back of news that China and the US were closing on a partial trade deal, which saw investors seek riskier assets such as stocks.
The Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite Index rallied 1.65% and 0.65% respectively, while in Japan markets were closed for a holiday. Major indices in Europe rose by more than 1% on average. In the US, the major indices quickly surged to all-time highs on the back of this optimism.
On the currency market, the rand shrugged off Moody's change in South Africa's outlook from stable to negative as it advanced on the day. The local unit advanced to a session high of R14.75/$ before it was recorded trading 1.5% firmer at R14.80/$ at 17:00 CAT.
On the JSE, EOH Holdings [JSE:EOH] led the day's gainers as it advanced 6.16% to close at R15.50, while insurer Discovery [JSE:DSY] gained 5.26% to close at R125.49.
Redefine Properties [JSE:RDF] was buoyed by the release of its full-year results, which showed an increase in its distribution per share, which subsequently saw the stock close 5.68% higher at R8.00.
The firmer rand lifted some of the retailers as gains were recorded for Massmart Holdings [JSE:MSM] which climbed 5.24% to close at R46.43, while Pick n Pay [JSE:PIK] rose 4.66% to end the day at R69.23.
Commodity trading giant Glencore [JSE:GLN] gained 3.29% to close at R48.40, while banker FirstRand [JSE:FSR] closed at R66.79 after gaining 2.45%.
Of the day's losers, Dis-Chem Pharmacies [JSE:DCP] came under pressure on the back of a poor trading statement which was released on Friday after the close. The stock fell 9.17% to close at R21.50.
Platinum miner Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] also struggled as it fell 4.35% to close at R102.91. Weakness was recorded for most miners on the day with declines being recorded for AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] which lost 3.15% to close at R314.02, Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] which slipped 3.1% to close at R88.80, and Assore [JSE:ASR] which lost 1.99% to end the day at R245.00.
Other losers on the day included Telkom [JSE:TKG] which lost 2.09% to close at R67.56, and Shoprite [JSE:SHP] which dropped 1.5% to close at R135.15 following the release of an operational update.
The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 0.49% firmer while the JSE Top-40 index also added 0.49%. The Resources index closed flat as it shed 0.06%, while the Financials and Industrials indices gained 1.96% and 0.18% respectively.
At 17:00 CAT, gold was 0.28% softer at $1 510.10/Oz, platinum had shed 0.45% to trade at $946.01/Oz, and palladium was down 0.83% at $1 792.91/Oz.
Brent crude was upbeat given the announcement of the Saudi Aramco IPO and its future production plans. The commodity was trading 1.46% firmer at $62.59/barrel just after the JSE close.
* Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group.