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JSE struggles to find direction

Mar 09 2018 18:19
Musa Makoni, EasyEquities

Cape Town - The JSE eventually closed firmer on Friday in a session where the local bourse struggled to find direction.

A volatile trading session ensued on the JSE which saw the All-Share Index trading lower by midday, before it erased its losses and firmed towards the close.

The day was relatively muted in terms of local economic data and earnings, with most of the focus on the Non-Farm Payrolls numbers released from the USA.

Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] and AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] firmed by 5.66% and 0.82% respectively despite gold trading softer on Friday.

Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] and Sappi [JSE:SAP] led the Top-40 Index as they recorded gains of 2.85% and 3.51% respectively, whilst listed property stock Greenbay Properties [JSE:GRP] gained 5.26%.

Aspen [JSE:APN] added 2.70% to close at R268.83 per share, whilst BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] and Naspers [JSE:NPN] closed 1.63% and 2.57% firmer.

Banking stocks were slightly mixed as Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] managed to rebound from Thursday's lower close to end the day up 1.86%. On the other hand, Capitec Holdings [JSE:CPI] and First Rand [JSE:FSR] came under pressure to end the day down 1.39% and 4.45% respectively.

Exxaro [JSE:EXX] was the biggest loser of the day as it lost 11.85% to close at R107.00 per share. Ascendis Health also came under significant pressure as it lost 9.77%, whilst Barloworld [JSE:BAW] shed 3.71%.

The JSE All-Share Index closed 0.41% firmer, whilst the blue-chip Top-40 Index gained 0.56%. The Financials Index closed down 0.50%. However, the Industrials and Resources Indices gained 0.77% and 0.58% respectively.

Brent Crude recovered on Friday following a minor slide overnight. Just after the JSE close the commodity was trading 1.65% firmer at $64.66/barrel. This was after it rallied from a session low of $63.69/barrel.

Gold traded mostly lower in Friday's session due to the overnight rally that was recorded in the US dollar. The precious metal was trading at $1 320.59/oz just after the close after recovering from a session low of $1 312.96/oz.

Platinum found some momentum towards the JSE close as it recovered from a session low of $947.78/oz to trade at $957.40/oz just after the close, up 0.44% for the day. A similar pattern was also recorded in palladium which spiked towards the JSE close. It was up more than 1.14% after the close to trade at $990.15/oz.

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