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The local bourse tracked a stellar performance by Asian markets on Wednesday afternoon as investors cheered further signs of a possible truce between the US and China. At the close of business the All Share was up 2.08% while the top 40 gained a healthy 2.22%.
US stocks edged higher on Wednesday in a fourth consecutive day of gains, as heightened expectations of a trade deal between the US and China increased demand for risk assets globally. The Dow gained over 40 points and the S&P 500 ended 0.44% higher.
European stocks surged on Wednesday led by the autos and tech sectors on renewed optimism that the US and China could possibly avoid a full-scale trade war that would worsen a decelerating global economy. At the close of business the FTSE 100 was up 0.66%.
Shares in Hong Kong enjoyed a strong performance on Wednesday reaching levels not seen since last November, as progress in the Sino-US trade talks and a new attempt by China to stimulate domestic consumption cheered investors. The Hang Seng ended the day 2.27% higher.
Signs of improvement in the US-Sino trade talks boosted Japan’s Nikkei on Wednesday afternoon, offsetting weakness in chip-related stocks which had a less-than-inspiring performance forecast for the year ahead. The Nikkei share average gained 1.10% ending the day at 20 427.06 points.
The local currency strengthened against major global currencies on Wednesday taking cue from its emerging-market counterparts, as markets cheered on positive trade talk developments between two of the world’s biggest economic giants. At 18h00 the rand traded R13.89 against the dollar.
Gold plunged for a second consecutive day on Wednesday amid regained appetite for risk following news of a breakthrough in US-Sino trade talks, while palladium reached a new record high. Spot gold ended the day on 1 289.74 points.
Oil prices surged on the back of heightened expectations that the world’s two largest economies would finally resolve their on-going trade war. At 18h30 benchmark Brent crude was trading at $59.64 a barrel.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
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