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Strong mining production figures for December countered market losses on Thursday, lifting the local market into the green, albeit only marginally. The All Share rose 0.16% for the day.
Wall Street opened lower on Thursday due to the sharp increases in the number of coronavirus, named COVID-19, deaths and infections in China. At 18h30, the Dow Jones lost 0.27%.
Most European indices and sectors ended Thursday in the red on the back of the sharp increase in the recorded deaths and infections in Hubei province. The pan-European index closed 0.15% down.
The Hang Seng lost ground on Thursday after “a new diagnostic method, suggested a much bigger crisis facing China and the world”. The school holidays have been extended to at least 16 March 2020, and major shopping mall landlords have offered rent cuts of as much as 60%. At the close of trade, the Hang Seng Index was 0.34% lower.
The Asian market rally of the past few days ended on Thursday as new coronavirus deaths and infections dented hopes that the virus was slowing. The Nikkei closed down 0.14%.
Although the local currency made up losses throughout Thursday, it lost steam ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address. At 18h30, the rand traded R14.87 to the dollar.
Bullion prices rose to a one-week high on Thursday as investors sought out safe-haven assets. Spot gold traded at $1 575.38/oz by 18h30.
Oil prices continued climbing on Thursday on hopes that OPEC+ might cut supply further. Brent crude traded at $56.57 a barrel at 18h30.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
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