Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

THE JSE closed slightly firmer on Friday as a weaker rand gave industrials a slight boost.

The softer currency contributed to generally higher rand hedges with commodities flat following a slight increase in the oil price.

At the JSE’s close the rand had lost 0.50% on the day to $13.7144/$.

After the significant anticipation regarding the various central bank meetings this week, markets appeared somewhat fatigued, analysts at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) said.

The US Federal Reserve, as well as the Reserve Bank, kept rates unchanged during the week, with the Reserve Bank intimating the rate-tightening cycle may be coming to an end soon.

The Fed indicated one more hike this year was possible, but rates were likely to remain low for a longer period, thereby boosting risk-on trade.

The JSE all share closed 0.20% higher at 51,999.50 points and the blue-chip top 40 gained 0.29%. After a late surge banks gained 0.43%. Industrials rose 0.27% and resources firmed 0.21%. General retailers added 0.15%. The gold index dropped 1.09% and food and drug retailers shed 0.97%.

The market focus next week will fall on oil prices with Opec’s meeting aiming to curtail supply among producers and support prices in the context of still-sluggish global growth.

Brent crude was 0.38% higher at $47.70 a barrel at the JSE’s close.

Among individual shares on the JSE, Anglo American lifted 3.17% to R168.08, while Sasol softened 0.50% to R371.82.

Rand hedge British American Tobacco gained 0.84% to R874.51 and SABMiller added 0.98% to R775.50.

Gold Fields lost 1.31% to R69.10.

Nedbank was 0.56% lower at R223.25 but Standard Bank added 0.92% to R144.45.

Consumer goods group Verimark rocketed 11.11% to 40c. It expects to report interim pretax profit of between R3.4m and R4.1m, from a pretax loss of R4.8m in the prior period.

Nampak closed 6.25% up at R19.55.

Educational group Curro was a star performer on the day, climbing 6.13% to R45.20.

The rand lost some steam after rallying this week in the aftermath of central banks keeping their interest rates on hold and monetary stimulus programmes intact.

At 5.40pm, the rand was at R13.6759 to the dollar from Thursday’s R13.6514.

Bonds were weaker, taking their cue from a softer rand.

At 5.41pm, the R186 was bid at 8.570% and offered at 8.550% from Thursday’s 8.520%.

South African futures were slightly firmer as the JSE closed marginally higher.

At 5.49pm, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.30% at 18,337.60 points.

At the same time, the local near-dated top-40 Alsi futures index was 0.17% firmer at 45,880 points, with 29,360 contracts traded from 37,759 contracts on Thursday.

With Madeleine van Niekerk