The SA share market is likely to open higher on Thursday morning, after the US adopted the huge Covid-19 relief bill, which spurred a rally in risk assets.
Touted as one of the biggest in US history, the $1.9-trillion stimulus package aims to help the world’s biggest economy, and by extension the global economy, recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Asian stock markets were broadly higher, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gaining 1.6% to 29,371.23 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index 0.43%.
The rand, which is highly tradable and a barometer of sentiment towards the emerging markets, was relatively steady in early trading at R15.05/$, but much stronger than the 12-week low of R15.57/$ it was at earlier in the week.
On the corporate front, Sanlam, which is the largest insurance group in Africa, reported that headline earnings rose 24% to R9.2bn in the year to end-December, from the year-earlier period. New business volumes exceeded R300bn for the first time, up 25% to R311bn.
Standard Bank, the biggest bank in Africa as measured by its assets, is set to report its year-end results later.