MARKET WRAP: JSE ends the first day of the decade up

02 January 2020 - 18:46 By Lindiwe Tsobo
Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

The JSE ended the first trading day of the new decade on a positive note on Thursday, gaining 1.18% at the close. 

The rand also carried the festive cheer into the new year with fair gains in the morning, however, as the day wore on, these began to fade. Shortly after 5pm, the rand had firmed 0.51% to R14.0821/$, 0.19% to R15.7428/€, and was little changed at R18.5392/£.

Earlier this week, US president Donald Trump tweeted that he would sign the phase-one trade deal with China on January 15 at the White house, with high level representatives of China present. He also said that he would going to Beijing at a later stage to discuss phase two of the trade deal.

China’s central bank said overnight it would lower the amount of cash banks are required to hold, the eighth reduction since 2018. The move should free about 800-billion yuan ($115bn) to boost China’s economy, reported Reuters.

European markets were mostly positive, while their Asian counterparts were mixed, as trade volumes remained thin on the second day of the year with most traders still on holiday. It is expected that the markets will be more active next week as traders get back to their desks.

Earlier, the Shanghai Composite gained 1.15% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 1.25%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.76%.

The Dow was last seen up 0.55% at 28,695.62 points. In Europe, France’s CAC 40 had gained 1.25%, the German DAX 30 1.01%, and the FTSE 100 0.94%.

“The year is off to a good start, with European stock markets pushing out decent gains early in the session. There’s plenty of reason to be more optimistic heading into 2020 but then, there’s also plenty of reason for caution too. Everything is not suddenly okay because the US and China are about to sign a phase one trade deal, or because the UK and EU are preparing to discuss the future relationship rather than the divorce. It could be another turbulent year with many surprises along the way”, said said Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam.

The JSE all share rose 1.18% to 57,760.30 points and the top 40 1.05%. Banks added 0.60%, the platinum index 0.53%, and resources 1.01%. Gold miners fell 0.60%.

With risk-on trade the order of the day in global markets, most analysts have been surprised by continued gains in the gold price. At 5.10pm it had risen 0.67% to $1,527/oz, while platinum added 2.23% to $985.30.

Brent crude was up 0.15% to $66.10 a barrel.