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Following a solid showing by rand hedges, the local bourse ended higher on Thursday as world markets rebounded from a disappointing US Federal Reserve (Fed) policy statement, while an expansion in Absa’s manufacturing PMI figure boosted domestic investor confidence. Shortly after the closing bell, the All Share was up by 0.77%.
Wall Street rallied on Thursday supported by a strong showing by technology stocks, after US Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that the central bank is not likely to trim interest rates in the foreseeable future. At 19h00, the S&P 500 was trading at 0.98% in the green.
European shares slid into negative territory on Thursday after the Fed dented hopes of future rate cuts, while a disappointing performance by Shell also weighed on market sentiment. At 19h25, the FTSE 100 was 0.03% in the red.
Closing at a seven-week low on Thursday, the Hong Kong stock market channelled the broader Asian market into negative territory, after the Fed closed the door to further rate cuts while a disappointing economic growth rate for the second quarter weighed on sentiment. At 19h40, the Hang Seng lost 0.78%.
Japan’s Nikkei ended higher on Thursday amid a weakened yen environment, boosted by a strong performance by the real estate and transportation sectors. At the closing bell, the Nikkei had gained 0.09%.
The local currency lost its footing against the pound on Thursday after investors cheered the Bank of England’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged, while Britain comes to terms with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. At 19h45, the rand traded at R14.64 against the dollar.
After the Fed dampened hopes for future rate cuts by saying this was merely “a mid-cycle adjustment to policy”, gold prices tracked a general decline in precious metals across the globe and fell to a two-week low on Thursday. At 19h50, spot gold was trading in the green at $1 439.98 an ounce.
Despite a drop in US inventories, oil prices snapped a six-day winning streak on Thursday after the Fed’s stance on interest rates triggered a decline in global commodities. At 20h00, a barrel of Brent crude was trading at $61.19.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
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