JSE edges slightly higher as trade tensions simmer

The JSE pushed a little higher on Thursday morning amid a recovery from market heavyweight Naspers, despite global uncertainty over trade conflict.

The rand was slightly weaker after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will allow authorities to bar Chinese telecoms giants Huawei and ZTE from US markets, threatening to further damage the relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

Sentiment was, however, lifted a little on Wednesday after Trump promised to delay tariffs on eurozone cars by about six months. 

Trade concerns continue to drive market sentiment, but the JSE was faring somewhat well on Thursday morning, led by Naspers.

At 9.10am Naspers was up 0.47% to R3,329.70, recovering a little from Wednesday’s 1.08% loss. That had followed news that the Competition Commission had recommended the company’s proposed takeover of WeBuyCars be blocked, saying this could lead to increased prices for used vehicles.

The all share was up 0.25% to 56,180.8 points and the top 40 0.23%. Banks had fallen 0.51% and food and drug retailers 0.50%. The resources index had added 0.89% and industrials 0.17%.

Diversified miners were also faring well amid a rising oil price. Fears of military conflict in the Middle East have provided support for oil, with the US withdrawing nonessential personnel from Iraq this week, citing a possible threat from Iran.

Diversified miner BHP was up 1.29% to R324.24, while Anglo American was up 1.04% to R353.31.

Aspen Pharmacare had added 2.85% to R104. Rand hedge British American Tobacco was down 0.51% to R529.80.

There is little on Thursday’s calendar, but initial jobless claims in the US will be watched. Local focus remains on post-election developments as investors wait to see the size and composition of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new cabinet. This is expected to be announced later in May.

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Source: businesslive.co.za