Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

THE JSE ended the week at a three-month high on Friday as miners continue their recovery from earlier oversold levels.

Platinum and gold shares led the charge on the day with resources also gaining on higher commodity prices.

At the JSE’s close the gold price was 0.77% higher at $1,275 a fine ounce, the highest level in a year. The platinum price had lifted 2.37% to $966.80.

At 5pm, the all share closed 0.80% up at 52,200.70 points and the blue-chip top 40 index had climbed 0.61%. The gold index had risen 6.42%, platinums jumped 5.94% and resources firmed 4.02%. Banks took a breather, closing 0.19% lower and financials were flat (-0.06%).

The all share ended the week 5.61% firmer and is now up 2.97% this year.

European markets were stronger with the FTSE 100 gaining 0.56%. The Paris CAC 40 rose 0.62% and the German Dax firmed 0.32%. The Dow Jones industrial average opened flat (-0.07%).

The market was buoyed by stronger-than-expected US employment data, which allayed concerns about a softening US economy. The US economy added 242,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9%. Economists were expecting 190,000 new jobs and no change in the jobless figure.

The closely watched average hourly wages, however, declined to an annual 2.2%, down from 2.5% in January. The US Federal Reserve is therefore likely to remain cautious before increasing interest rates further this year.

"We continue to expect the Fed’s Federal open market committee will keep rates unchanged at its March meeting," Barclays Research analysts said.

However, consistent job growth and further improvement in other macroeconomic data could raise risks of a move as early as April, Barclays said.

Standard Bank analyst Warrick Butler said the all share’s downside resistance level of 45,000 proved to be pivotal. If that had broken lower, then it would have spelt disaster for local equities.

"However, the index had managed to bounce substantially over the past couple of months, despite Nenegate (the firing of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene)."

A lot of this had to do with the repatriation of investments from international accounts by local asset managers as part of their prudential limit controls.

"It may not be a true representation of local fundamental dynamics given the low economic growth, but who cares when you are getting just over a 15% return (since it nearly dropped to 45,000 points) in a couple of months with almost no currency depreciation either as the rand started the year at 15.45/$," Mr Butler said.

The all share now had the potential to progress further to the next major resistance levels around 54,125 and 55,355, the all share’s previous record high reached on April 24 last year, he said.

Among individual shares on the JSE, Anglo American closed 3.51% higher at R123.41, BHP Billiton was 5.24% firmer at R186.69 and Glencore added 2.50% to R32.80.

On Friday is was reported that Anglo American SA and AngloGold Ashanti had reached an agreement to compensate nearly 4,400 silicosis claims brought against the companies for a total of R464m, which would be put into an independent trust to distribute compensation.

AngloGold Ashanti lifted 8.18% to R218.75 and Gold Fields was up 7.84% at R67.40.

Kumba Iron Ore jumped 7.32% to R82.42.

Lonmin shot up 18.63% to R32.73. It has risen 78.8% so far in 2016. Anglo American Platinum was 5.75% firmer at R386.

Among banks, FirstRand added 0.58% to R48.28, while Barclays Africa shed 2.12% to R139.

Shoprite slipped 3.60% to R164.03.

Reinet Investments added 0.69% to R32.07, with PSG jumping 4.41% to R187.

The market liked the recent results of Clover Industries with the share jumping 8.50% to R18.50 by the close.