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The JSE ended the week firmer as global markets cheered better-than-expected US jobless claims that were below 700 000 for the first time during the pandemic, adding to growing evidence that the economy is recovering.
Wall Street opened higher on Friday as investors sought underpriced bank and energy stocks amid expectations of what is to be the fastest economic growth since 1984. The Nasdaq gained 1.24% at closing bell.
European markets rose on Friday, boosted by strong performances in commodity-linked firms as the prospect of a strong US economic recovery outweighed concerns over a rising number of new Covid-19 cases.
Shares in Hong Kong rebounded on recovery hopes following a sell-off in technology stocks in the previous session as investors feared that they would be de-listed from US markets. The Hang Seng gained 1.57%.
Japanese stocks ended the week higher on Friday with SoftBank leading the gains as investors swept up undervalued stocks after their sharp retreat last week. The Nikkei gained 1.56%.
At 18h15, the local currency strengthened to R15.01/$, R20.70/£ and R17.70/€ as emerging market currencies benefited from a rise in global sentiment.
Gold prices were set for their first weekly decline in nearly a month on Friday as a firmer greenback and higher US Treasury yields tainted the metal’s appeal. At 19h00 spot gold traded $1 732.20/oz.
Brent crude gained over 4% on Friday amid fears that the Suez Canal blockage would last longer-than-expected, which would affect the supply of crude and refined products.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
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