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The JSE was upbeat on Thursday in broad-based gains tracking buoyant global markets, as investors assessed the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit. At the close of business, both the All Share and the Top 40 traded in the green.
US equities traded higher on Thursday with tech stocks leading the pack, as signs of progress between the US and China over their hostile trade dispute lifted sentiment. The Dow gained over 43 points and the S&P 500 ended 0.01% in the red.
Increased uncertainty over the circumstances of Britain’s exit from the EU put a halt to a two-day long European stock rally, while market focus was on the ECB ahead of its monetary policy meeting. At close of business the pound rose 0.83%.
Hong Kong stocks traded higher on Thursday as signs of a decelerating Sino-US trade dispute improved sentiment, and on hopes of stronger policy backing for Beijing's decelerating economy. The Hang Seng closed 1.31% in the green.
Japan’s Nikkei surged on Thursday as risk appetite improved on the optimism that trade negotiations between the US and China were in full swing. The Nikkei share average rose 0.95% ending the day at 21 807.00 points.
The local currency weakened against major global currencies on Thursday afternoon, but managed to trim losses after the ECB kept interest rates steady, missing market expectations of a downward revision. At 19h00 the rand traded R14.18 against the dollar.
Gold prices fell on Thursday as stock markets were set for a third session of gains but the bullion remained within a $6 range ahead of the US Fed meeting where the US central bank is anticipated to hike interest rates. At the close of business, spot gold was down 0.20%.
Oil prices were under pressure from high inventories but remained somewhat steady on Thursday, bolstered by indications that the US-Sino trade dispute may be decelerating. At 19h00 benchmark Brent crude was trading at $60.77 a barrel.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
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