JSE all-share at record high
THE JSE reached a new record level during trade on Wednesday, lifted by resources, following the release of Chinese manufacturing data, which, an analyst said, restored confidence in commodity trade.
The Chinese data for April surpassed forecasts and sent the Dow Jones industrial average to its best close in more than four years on Tuesday.
The HSBC China PMI, which concentrates mainly on privately-owned firms, remained below the 50 threshold for the sixth month running. But it rose to 49,3 in April from 48,3, hinting that the rate of deterioration had slowed, and was stronger than last week's "flash" estimate.
The strong Chinese manufacturing data and the HSBC China manufacturing purchasing managers' index propelled the gains, with media reports saying that the latest figures indicate that growth in Asia's biggest economy is picking up after a lull over the past few months.
At 11.36am local time, the JSE all-share index was up 0,57% to 34594,88 points, after reaching an earlier high of 34647,73, with resources gaining 1,78%, while platinum shares were down 0,14% but gold counters were up 0,51%.
Financials were flat, banking stocks were down 0,11% and industrials remained flat.
The rand was a touch weaker at R7,7317/$ from its previous close of R7,7283/$ on Monday.
Gold was quoted at $1653,57 a troy ounce from $1660,21/oz at the JSE's previous close, and platinum was at $1567/oz, from $1569,50/oz at the previous session.
"We got some good data coming out of China, which has been pushing the JSE. The manufacturing figures from China are good for commodity trade and this has prompted the interest in resources," a local trader at PSG Konsult said.
European stocks maintained moderate gains after the euro-zone's manufacturing sector shrank at the sharpest pace in almost three years in April, while its unemployment rate rose to match a record high in March as 169000 people lost their jobs, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
The grim data indicate that the currency area's economy is likely to continue to contract in the second quarter. Manufacturing activity in the US and Asia expanded in April, confirming the euro zone as the weakest region in the global economy as the fiscal crisis and austerity programmes take their toll.
More in this section
- Disillusioned SA will learn to walk like Egyptians
- Chaskalson transcended his bias and loyalties
- EDITORIAL: The problem with ANC branches
- People were central to Chaskalson’s endeavours
- THICK END OF THE WEDGE: Zuma’s Get Out of Jail Free card
- NEWS ANALYSIS: ANC’s winner in Mangaung may still lack legitimacy