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Although retail and gold miners performed well, Naspers losses led to it being a flat Thursday for the JSE. That being said, as the US Federal Reserve announced fewer interest rate increases for 2019, the South African Reserve Bank said it will have more room to avoid rate increases.
Although Boeing results boosted US markets on Thursday, they only opened slightly higher as investors are showing concerns around weak retailers and the uncertain progress of the US-China trade discussions.
European indices remained mostly unmoved on Thursday due to ambiguity surrounding the US-China trade talks, and poor retail and auto earnings reports leading to cautious investors. At close of business, the STOXX 600 had gained 0.34%.
Chinese markets faced a somewhat troublesome Thursday after producer prices recorded the lowest figure in two years, leading to concerns around dragging economic growth and the excitement of the tariff talks fading. At 19h40, the Shanghai had lost 0.36%.
Japan’s Nikkei fell sharply on Thursday after its three-day high, as investors sold off due to the strong yen. At the end of trade, the Nikkei recorded a 1.29% drop closing at 20 163.80 points.
The local currency showed little movement on Thursday thanks to the US-China trade negotiations. However, experts have pointed out that the rand’s strong start to the year has started to slow due to signs that the US monetary tightening pace is decelerating. At 19h14, the rand traded R13.87 to the dollar.
Gold prices steadied on Thursday, after reaching an almost six-month high, as the trade negotiations weren’t able to elaborate on how the trade dispute will be laid to rest. At 19h25, spot gold traded for $1 289.21 an ounce.
On Thursday oil prices stabilised due to the market positivity around the Sino-US trade talks cooling and poor Chinese data resulting in cautious investor risk appetites. At 19h45, a barrel of Brent crude was trading at $60.91.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
Chief Investment Officer