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All sectors of the JSE in the green at start of new week

Jan 08 2018 18:45
Bryan Stewart, EasyEquities

Cape Town - Monday was a good day on the local market, with all sectors of the JSE closing in the green.

The All-Share index closed up 0.55%, the blue-chip Top40 finished 0.59% higher, industrials were up by 0.34%, and financials by 0.26%.

Resource stocks lead the way to firm by 1.55%, with BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] and Anglo American [JSE:AGL] up 2.82% and 2.06% respectively.

The rand gave back some of its gains after a two-week rally, to trade at R12.43 to the US dollar, weaker by 0.82% at the close of the JSE.

President Jacob Zuma, meanwhile, survived as President as his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa called for unity within the party ahead of an important meeting Wednesday, where a proposal to order Zuma to step down will be discussed.

There was also more bad news for Steinhoff International Holdings [JSE:SNH] as the European Central Bank sold its Steinhoff bonds. Shares in the Stellenbosch-headquartered retailer closed at R8.68 per share, down 1.36% on the day. 

Precious metals. 

Gold eased to $1 320 per ounce as the dollar gained support despite last Friday's disappointing US employment data. Investors will now be focusing on the Federal Reserve, after San Francisco Fed president John Williams commented on Saturday that the Fed would raise interest rates three times this year. 

Concerns remain that rising US oil production could undermine production cut efforts by OPEC. As a result Brent Crude was down slightly, trading at $67.55 per barrel.

Global stocks, meanwhile, continued to rally with their best start to a year in eight years driven by strong global growth and low inflation. Monday saw Asian shares close higher with markets in Tokyo closed for a holiday and China’s Shanghai Composite up by 0.5%.

Over in Europe shares were bolstered by better than expected confidence and retail sales data, while US indices opened flat with little changed following last week’s record highs.

Uncertainty continues to plague Europe, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes a last-ditch attempt to form a coalition in Germany’s longest political deadlock since World War II between her bloc party and the main opposition, the SPD. Merkel is seeking a commitment by latest Thursday this week to keep the current group of leaders in power after months of uncertainty which has already impacted several decisions on the euro-area policy, government spending and migration.

In the UK Prime Minister Theresa May has started the new year with reports that she is readying a cabinet reshuffle to change the image of the Conservative Party with the promotion of fresh faces from a younger and more diverse generation.

May hopes this will secure that she sees Brexit to completion and is around in 2022 to stand for re-election. 

Monday in the US saw ex-Trump advisor Steve Bannon issue an apology for comments made in Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” while fire fighters extinguish a fire that broke out at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, where 2 people were injured.

Bitcoin, meanwhile, dropped to below $15 000. Ethereum, the world's third-largest cryptocurrency by market value, hit a record high of $1 266. 


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