The JSE rallied on Wednesday on the back of broad-based gains across all the major indices which were inspired by gains across most global stocks.
The Hang Seng led gains in Asia as it surged 1.78% while the Nikkei managed to rise 0.96%. The Shanghai Composite Index struggled as it lost 0.74%. Gains were recorded for all the major counters across Europe, while in the US the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indices opened firmer on the day.
There was disappointment in terms of South Africa's economic data as the RMB/BER business confidence index dropped to 21 in the 3rd quarter from a prior recording of 28. These are levels last reached during the financial crisis of 2008/09.
The rand traded softer on the back of this data as it slipped to a session low of R14.74/$ and it looked set to weaken further towards the JSE close. At 17:00, the rand was trading 0.68% weaker at R14.73/$.
Today was an important day on the JSE as index heavyweight Naspers [JSE:NPN], had its unbundling, Prosus [JSE:PRX] list in Amsterdam and Johannesburg. Prosus opened at R1 238.50 on the JSE before it closed at R1 202.65. Naspers' share price adjusted to factor in the unbundling and based on its new market cap and shares in issue it closed 6.08% higher at R2 465.00.
Pan African Resources [JSE:PAN] was buoyed by the release of a positive trading statement for its full financial year which saw the stock rally 9.13% to close at R2.39. Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] managed to gain 5.33% to close at R7.90, while Capital and Counties [JSE:CCO] added 2.83% to end the day at R40.37. Platinum miner Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] clawed back some of the recent losses as it advanced 4.39% to close at R84.61,while diversified miner South32 [JSE:S32] gained 2.59% to close at R27.69.
Naspers sets R1.5 trillion value for its new company, Prosus
The weaker rand saw retailer Mr Price [JSE:MRP] fall 2.01% to close at R170.50, while Truworths [JSE:TRU] lost 1.72% to close at R55.28. ABSA Group [JSE:ABG] lost 1.43% to end the day at R158.69, while Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] shed a more modest 0.25% to close at R181.41. Growthpoint Properties [JSE:GRT] was dragged down by a drop in earnings per share which was highlighted in its full-year results, which saw the stock close 2.64% lower at R22.88.
The JSE All-Share index eventually closed 1.51% firmer while the JSE Top-40 index gained 1.65%. The industrials index led gains on the day as it rallied 2.12%, while the resources and financials indices added 1.53% and 0.12% respectively.
At 17:00, palladium was up 1.39% to trade at $1580.90/Oz, platinum was up 1.27% at $942.35/Oz, and gold had gained 0.7% to trade at $1495.69/Oz.
Brent crude was moderately firmer to trade 0.34% firmer at $62.58/barrel just after the JSE close.