The JSE nudged higher on Thursday‚ buoyed by positive local and international data‚ including an interest rate cut in China‚ and improved global sentiment on expectations over the eurozone debt crisis.
Media reports said new claims for US unemployment benefits fell last week after rising for four straight weeks‚ offered some hope of improvement after a series of disappointing figures as job creation tailed off.
Locally‚ manufacturing production in SA increased by 1.2 percent year on year (y/y) in April after a revised fall of 2.9 percent (-2.7 percent) y/y in March‚ data released by Statistics SA on Thursday showed.
At 17:00 local time‚ the JSE all-share index was up 0.90 percent to 33‚904.86 points‚ with resources adding 0.67 percent and platinum counters rising 0.37 percent‚ although gold counters lost 4.92 percent.
Financials added 1.38 percent‚ banking stocks were up 1.72 percent‚ while industrials rose 0.90 percent.
The rand was trading at 8.29 to the US dollar‚ from 8.33 at the JSE's close on Wednesday‚ while gold was quoted at US$1‚599.95 a troy ounce from US$1‚637.05/oz at the JSE's previous close and platinum was at $1‚449.70/oz‚ from $1‚464.50/oz in the previous session.
Ferdi Heyeneke of Afrifocus said markets across the world had some long-overdue respite. “We have been languishing in negative sentiment for sometime and the good news that came improved sentiment. Interest rates have dropped in China and the positive data we had today must also have acted in favour of the markets.”