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Although property shares had a difficult day on Wednesday, the JSE still managed to close up by more than 1%; thanks, mostly, to Naspers being boosted by trade war optimism and a steady rand that backed banks and retailers.
US markets bounced back on Wednesday after US Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) Chairman, Jerome Powell, said: “the gradual interest-rate hikes are meant to balance risks as it tries to keep the economy on track.” At 21h55, both the Dow and the Nasdaq were up by more than 2%.
It was a flat day for markets in Europe on Wednesday as it came to light that the US and Chinese presidents might still meet at the G20 summit this weekend. The day closed with the STOXX 600 up 0.01%, the CAC 40 unmoved, and the DAX down 0.09%.
Most Asian markets ended Wednesday in the green as tech giant Tencent holdings reached an eight-week peak due to their mobile payment plans for Japan. At 21h35, both the Shanghai and the Hang Seng were up by over 1%.
Markets in Japan enjoyed a good day on Wednesday due to superb performances from Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Fast Retailing and Line Corp, offsetting the drop in airline shares. At 21h25, the Nikkei was up 1.11%.
The rand weakened slightly on Wednesday after weaker-than-expected consumer confidence reports were released showing that the index dropped to seven points. At 20h05, the rand traded R13.82 to the dollar.
Wednesday was a mixed day for bullion prices; gold, silver and palladium all rose by 1% or more, while platinum fell by almost 1%. This is due to the dollar losing ground as Powell gave little indication of what to expect at the next FOMC speech. At 21h40, gold traded at $1 222.10 an ounce.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday after the US crude stockpiles reported increases for the tenth consecutive week despite global concerns about excess oil supply. At 21h50, Brent crude cost $59.25 per barrel.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
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