The JSE maintained its upward momentum on Wednesday to close higher‚ more or less in line with world markets‚ after they digested the news of the failure by Greek creditors to agree on releasing the next tranche of bailout funds. Markets quickly shrugged off this news to trade firmer on the hope that an agreement will be reached on Monday when they meet again.
At 5pm‚ the all-share index was up 0.51 percent at 37‚498.02 points‚ with the top 40 index gaining 0.53 percent to 33‚274.88 points. Industrials were the main gainers‚ adding 0.74 percent‚ while platinums gave up 1.05 percent‚ after a fair run over the last two days.
“It was a rand dominated market with industrials higher because of defensive stocks like British American Tobacco and SABMiller trading stronger on a weaker currency - the rand almost broke through the R9 to the greenback level‚ but firmed again late‚” said Mark Wilkes‚ trader at Global Trader in Cape Town.
“Platinums were a bit on the back foot with Lonmin fairly volatile because of its rights issue‚” he added.
News that the Eurogroup and IMF had failed to come to an agreement on Greece’s debt reduction profile initially prompted a marking lower of risk assets‚ but this reaction quickly unwound‚ Barclays Bank said in its global note.
Discussions on the issue will resume on Monday November 26.
“Counter-intuitively Greek bonds rallied somewhat on the news‚ likely due to a perception that a debt buyback programme is now more likely in order to crystallise a reduction in the debt stock. Sentiment will be tested further in the coming days‚ with the eurozone ‘flash’ PMIs (Thursday) and the German IFO (Friday) likely pointing to sluggish economic activity in November‚” the bank said.
European bourses erased earlier losses trading higher‚ but London’s FTSE 100 was flat (0.05 percent)‚ while France’s CAC 40 index had added 0.41 percent by 4.48pm local time.
Meanwhile US stocks opened a touch higher in quiet trading ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend break‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported. At 5.10pm the Dow Jones Industrial Average had gained 0.19 percent to 12‚813.33 points.
Trading volume was expected to be light on the last full day of trading this week. On Thursday‚ the market rests for Thanksgiving‚ before opening again for a half-day on Friday.
In US economic data‚ weekly jobless claims matched expectations for 410‚000 new claims‚ while the previous week's reading was revised up to 451‚000.
Among individual local stocks on the JSE‚ British American Tobacco (BTI) traded 1.38 percent firmer to close at R457.26 and SABMiller (SAB) added 1 percent to close at R374.05.
ArcelorMittal SA (ACL) surged 10.81 percent to close at R28.09 and Coal of Africa (CZA) added 5.49 percent to R1.73.
Industrial share Barloworld (BAW) gained 1.78 percent to R77.35.
Spar (SPP) added 2.48 percent to R123.49 and Woolies (WHL) gained 2 percent to close at R68.34.
Among platinums Anglo American Platinum (AMS) gave back 1.58 percent to R382.53 and Lonmin (LON) dipped 1.13 percent to R39.20.
Consumer goods group Tiger Brands (TBS) stock was off 0.68 percent at R276 after it reported on Wednesday a 7.1 percent rise in diluted headline earnings per share in the year ended September to 1‚654.2 cents compared with the same period a year ago.
Packaging group Nampak (NPK) closed 3.06 percent higher at R29.99 after it reported on Wednesday a 14.3 percent rise in diluted headline earnings per share to 194.4 cents for the year ended September from 170.1 cents a year ago.
Shares in Cipla Medpro SA (CMP) surged 7.93 percent to close at R8.30 after the pharmaceutical firm announced that Cipla India planned to acquire an equity stake of about 51 percent in the group.