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Despite strong mining production figures, Thursday ended flat for the JSE as disappointing economic data releases bred caution amongst investors. At the close of trade, the All Share was down 0.07%.
US market sentiment dropped on Thursday after a report was released stating that Presidents Donald Trump and XI Jinping’s trade meeting will most likely be postponed to, at the earliest, April. At 19h20, the Dow stood 0.02% higher.
European shares hit a five-month high on Thursday as investor sentiment improved, however, Bloomberg warned that a delay in the US-China trade deal could upset gains. The British parliament met once again on Thursday night to vote on whether to postpone their exit from the EU. The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.78% up.
Chinese indices extended losses on Thursday due to trade negotiations with the US slowing down and Chinese industrial production reaching a 17-year low in January and February. At the end of trade, the Shanghai had fallen by 1.20%.
Thursday was a flat day for the Nikkei as gains by index-heavyweight SoftBank were offset by disappointing Chinese data that increased concerns over a slowing global economy. At 19h20, the Nikkei was 0.04% up.
Weak manufacturing data locally and a lower US inflation rate hurt the rand on Thursday, however, it started to recover towards the end of the day. At 19h20, a dollar cost R14.51, a euro R16.40 and a pound R19.27.
On Thursday silver prices fell for the first time in five sessions as investors supported European shares after the British parliament voted against a no-deal Brexit. At 19h20, an ounce of spot gold was trading at $1 295.99 and silver at $15.17.
It was a mixed Thursday for oil prices due to meagre Chinese data and slower US stock markets being countered by OPEC’s decision to possibly lower production till after July. At 19h20, a barrel of Brent crude was trading at $67.18.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
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