Cape Town – The JSE firmed on Wednesday, with the rand bouncing off the low’s seen on Tuesday. The strengthening of the rand suited the financial stocks and retailers, whilst restricting the rand hedges.
Gold miners were the champions of the day with an increase of 4.28% on the gold Index, while banks gained 0.65%. The blue-chip Top 40 closed 0.16% firmer, followed by the All Share Index closing 0.15% up. The Resource Index finished the day 0.82% in the green, followed by financials 0.35%. A 0.33% slip in the price of Naspers put pressure on Industrials, which traded 0.16% lower.
The rand traded firmer off dollar weakness following the abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey by US President Donald Trump. US stock index futures have taken a dip, as the news is likely to soak up media time in Washington and make tax and healthcare reform more difficult.
Gold assets firmed on the back of the news, with the gold price increasing to $1221/Oz. Gold price does however remain under pressure on the back of hawkish Fed repricing and deep complacency across financial markets.
Economic data from the Far-East released on Wednesday indicated that consumer inflation in China remained mild in April, edging up 1.2% on higher non-food items, while producer prices rose 6.4%, marking a slower pace that signals weak demand. It's the latest sign that manufacturing activity may be losing momentum, along with other sectors of the economy, as commodity prices continue to decline and the government cracks down on financial risk.