JSE.  Picture: MICHAEL BRATT
Picture: MICHAEL BRATT

THE JSE closed in positive territory on Thursday, with retailers and banks supporting the local market after the former had a heavy sell-off recently.

At 5pm, the JSE all share index was up 0.33% at 40,694.77 points, the retail index added 2.06%, and banks gained on 0.88%.

On the international front, US stocks were in the red amid a raft of corporate earnings and a jobless data print that was slightly worse than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.19% softer at 4.48pm.

In Europe, some markets edged higher after the European Central Bank left key interest rates unchanged, as widely expected. The UK FTSE 100 index was 0.34% lower at 4.48pm.

"Banks have had a good run the last two days, with investors still seeing value there. Platinum counters have moved higher today (Thursday) and have had a pretty good run recently," said Devin Shutte, market analyst at stockbrokerage Newstrading. "The platinum price has strengthened substantially over the last few days, while the anaemic rand has helped platinums and other mining stocks gain value," the analyst said.

On the JSE, Amplats gained 1.73% to R470 and Aquarius grew 1.67% to R9.73.

ArcelorMittal gave back 2.58% to R35.51 after releasing worse-than-expected results on Wednesday.

Coal of Africa shed 6.51% to R2.73.

In the retail space, Shoprite added 1.98% to close at R180, Massmart rose 2.55% to R187.15, Mr Price added 2.63% to R127.80 and The Foschini Group climbed 3.12% to R120.14.

In banking, Standard Bank added 2.09% to close at R118.95 and Nedbank lifted 1.41% to R191.67.

Sun International closed 3.50% stronger at R103.50 after saying on Thursday that its basic and headline earnings per share for the six months ended December are expected to be between 20% and 30% higher than the 319c per share of the previous corresponding period.