JSE All Share Index breaks through 60,000 points in low-volume trade, led by rand hedges

Stock market ticker board blurred at edges

A SOFTER RAND and positive mood on global markets helped the JSE begin the week on a high note on Monday, with most of the major European and US equity markets reaching record highs.

Domestically, all eyes remained fixed on any developments within the ANC that could move the rand, while globally, sentiment has been bullish.

Wall Street had seen its best start to the year in a decade, with inflation in the US remaining low, economic growth improving and interest rates likely to stay at their historically low level for some time, said TreasuryOne currency dealer Phillip Pearce.

Added to this, the recent passing of corporate tax cuts in the US meant stock exchanges were catching the eye of every investor with an appetite for risk, he said.

The slightly weaker rand benefited miners and rand hedges, but volumes on the local bourse were lower than usual, at R10.5bn, compared with the daily average of R20bn.

The all share gained 0.54% to 60,038.4 points and the top 40 was up 0.55%.

Resources added 1.55%, platinum miners 1.57% and general retailers 1.37%. Gold miners were off 0.27%.

Rand hedge Richemont gained 2.14% to R114.50 and British American Tobacco 0.38% to R830.25.

Naspers fell 0.54% to R3,597.03.

Diversified miner BHP firmed 2.82% to R266.82 and Anglo American 2.06% to R274.

Investment holding company Brait lost 4.37% to R42.68.

Mr Price added 1.64% to R244.77 while Steinhoff International fell 1.36% to R8.68.

The dollar recovered slightly on Monday after weakening marginally on Friday, following the release of US nonfarm payrolls numbers. Analysts said there were, however, few signs of significant momentum behind the greenback.

The US dollar was under pressure in 2017, but there was some expectation that large US multinationals would bring huge amounts of cash back to the US in the course of 2018, which would eventually boost the dollar, Afriforesight analysts said.

Shortly after the JSE closed the Dow off 0.12%, after having earlier reached a record high. In Europe the Dax 30 was up 0.38% and the Cac 40 0.37%, while the FTSE 100 had lost 0.26%. Both the Dax 30 and FTSE 100 reached record highs in intraday trade.

At the same time, platinum was up 0.3% to $972.92 an ounce while gold was flat at $1,319.84. Brent crude was off 0.12% to $67.63 a barrel.

Source: Business Day Live