Local stocks edged higher on Friday in tandem with other global markets which rebounded as concerns over a deadly virus in China took lesser priority.
With markets in Shanghai closed for the Chinese lunar year, there was no sentiment which fed through from that market. There was trading on the Hang Seng which eventually closed 0.15% firmer while in Tokyo the Nikkei inched up 0.13%. Gains were much stronger in Europe were all the major indices advanced by more than a percent on average.
Good corporate earnings releases as well as sentiment from Europe helped US markets open firmer on Friday.
Another mixed session ensued for the rand which rallied to peak at a session high of R14.31/$ before retracing to a session low of R14.41/$. At 17.00 CAT, the rand was trading 0.08% weaker at R14.40/$.
With no economic data being released locally, direction was mainly driven by international trends. Curro Holdings [JSE:COH] had a buoyant session as it surged 4.06% to close at R16.65, while Long4Life [JSE:L4L] advanced 2.16% to close at R3.78. Retailers found some traction despite the rand being volatile which saw stocks such as Woolworths [JSE:WHL] gain 3.7% to close at R47.65, The Foschini Group [JSE:TFG] added 2.17% to close at R149.01, and Shoprite [JSE:SHP] closed at R122.50 after gaining 2%.
Oil and gas producer, Sasol [JSE:SOL] released a half-year production and sales update which saw the stock gain 1.73% to close at R264.50. Gains were also recorded Reinet [JSE:RNI] which rose 2.55% to close at R304.65 as the company released a management statement, while Discovery Ltd [JSE:DSY] closed at R125.29 after adding 2.07%.
Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] struggled as it lost 6.42% to close at R3.50, while Telkom [JSE:TKG] also couldn't catch a break as it lost 5.7% to close at R32.25. Platinum miners could not catch a reprieve as declines were recorded for Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] which fell 3.16% to close at R135.50, as well as Northam Platinum [JSE:NHM] which added 2.03% to close at R122.45.
Diversified miner South32 [JSE:S32] dropped 0.96% to close at R26.75, while healthcare provider Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] lost 1.61% to close at R74.68. Losses were also recorded for Tsogo Sun Hotels [JSE:TGO] which lost 2.81% to close at R3.80, as well as Old Mutual [JSE:OMU] which lost a more modest 0.66% to close at R18.00.
The JSE Top-40 index closed 0.72% higher while the JSE All-Share index added 0.64%. The Resources index firmed towards the close eventually closing 0.18% higher, while the Industrials and Financials indices gained 1.02% and 0.61% respectively.
Brent crude remained under pressure as it was recorded trading 1.4% weaker at $61.16/barrel just after the JSE close.
At 17.00 CAT, Palladium was down 2.56% to trade at $2397.83/Oz, Platinum was up 0.99% at $1012.12/Oz, and Gold was only 0.1% firmer at R1564.53/Oz.