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The local bourse closed higher on Wednesday as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) pointed to a loosened monetary policy in the near future. Shortly after the closing bell, the All Share was up 1.11%.
Financial markets traded higher on Wednesday as US Fed chairman Jerome Powell’s comment that the central bank will do everything in its power to sustain US growth reinforced expectations of an aggressive interest rate cut. At 18h20, the Dow was trading 0.28% in the green.
European shares slipped for a fourth consecutive day on Wednesday on global growth concerns, while the British pound rebounded from a two-year low recorded in the previous session as data pointed to an expansion in the UK’s economy during May. At 18h40, the FTSE 100 Index and the DAX had lost 0.07% and 0.51% respectively.
Shares in Hong Kong traded higher on Wednesday as the US and China resumed trade talks aimed at halting the protracted trade dispute, while investors kept a close eye on Powell’s testimony. At 18h44, the Hang Seng gained 0.16%.
Japan’s Nikkei was range-bound and traded lower on Wednesday in thin trade, as investors scrutinised Powell’s testimony on the state of the world’s biggest economy and sought clarity on the Fed’s monetary policies. At the closing bell, the Nikkei had lost 0.15%.
The rand endured a day of choppy trade on Wednesday but managed to maintain its upper hand against major global currencies as investors cheered the Fed’s dovish stance on monetary policy, boosting hopes of a possible interest rate cut. At 18h50, the rand traded at R14.03 against the dollar.
Gold prices eased on Wednesday due to a decline in demand amid a steady dollar environment. The price of gold has continued to slip this week after the release of a solid US jobs report, adjusting expectations of a hefty interest rate cut in the near future. At 19h05, spot gold was trading in the green at $1 411.09 an ounce.
The price of oil rose by about 2% on Wednesday after the release of data that indicated a drop in US inventories, while production in the US was disrupted ahead of a storm. At 18h30, a barrel of Brent crude was trading at $67.05.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
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