The JSE pushed 1% higher in broad-based gains on Thursday, as sentiment on global markets improved somewhat, but with no signs that volatility will ease anytime soon.
Volumes were higher than normal, at R30bn, compared to the daily average of R20bn.
The rand was weaker against the dollar, and international markets spent much of the day buoyant, after political fears ebbed in Italy. Gains were pared and US markets negative later in the session, however, as White House officials confirmed they would levy further import tariffs on Europe.
Local banks, industrials and retailers were still at least 1% firmer at the close, amid a spate of results, largely from small-caps. Rand hedges were the primary beneficiaries of global news, with eurozone inflation data higher than expected, raising the prospect of monetary policy tightening in the bloc.
Risks remain, however, with US officials expected to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on the EU on Friday. “The move is likely to bring retaliatory action from EU trade regulators, who have warned they will target American products, such as motorcycles, jeans and bourbon if additional US tariffs are imposed,” said SP Angel analysts.
Reports earlier that the US was considering banning the imports of all German cars also spooked the market, further weighing on the export-heavy German DAX 30.
The all share closed 1% higher to 56,157.9 points and the top 40 1.01%. Platinums rose 3.3%, resources 1.88% and banks 1.08%.
Diversified miner Anglo American gained 2.78% to R302.51 and BHP 1.72% to R289.34.
British American Tobacco gained 2.69% to R648.46.
Impala Platinum added 5.3% to R20.26 and Northam 3.03% to R35.03.
Standard Bank gained 2.41% to R207.40 and TFG 3.39% to R184.24.
Tongaat Hulett slumped 5.01% to R81, extending its losses from Monday, when it announced headline earnings fell 37.2% in the year to end-March.
Taste Holdings was unchanged at 50c, despite earlier reporting its diluted loss per share for the year to end-February had almost doubled to 51c.
At 5.30pm, the Dow was off 1% to 24,440.33 points, while in Europe the DAX 30 had fallen 1.52%, the CAC 40 0.58% and the FTSE 100 0.24%.
At the same time, gold had risen 0.18% to $1,303.41 an ounce and platinum 0.17% to $909.72. Brent crude was 1.02% higher at $78.19 a barrel.
The top 40 Alsi futures index gained 1.08% to 50,014 points. The number of contracts traded was 30,208 from Wednesday’s 25,058.