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Despite a weaker rand, the JSE made up losses from the previous trading session on Thursday thanks to the strong performance by banks and financials. At the close of trade, the All Share was 0.37% in the green.
On Thursday, US markets eased gains as investors digested the US Federal Reserve Bank’s (Fed) decision to keep US interest rates unchanged at 2.50%, and oil shares plummeted. Shortly after the JSE closed, the Dow was 0.83% down.
Returning from the May Day holiday, most European indices were in the negative due to the severe share-price drop in SAP, a software firm, and the Fed’s decision to avoid rate cuts. At the close of trade, the STOXX 600 was 0.58% lower.
Although Chinese markets were closed on Thursday, the Hang Seng rose based on positive US-China trade war progress, the Fed’s stable interest rate views and strong performances by financials and property shares. The Hang Seng closed 0.83% up.
Markets were closed due to a public holiday.
The local currency weakened on Thursday, as did most Emerging Market currencies, on the back of the Fed’s decision to keep benchmark lending rates unchanged, and its insinuation that it is unlikely to change rates soon. At 18h10, the rand traded R14.54 against the dollar.
The Fed’s announcement on Wednesday night to keep the US interest rate unchanged had a dismal effect on bullion prices and mining shares on Thursday. At 18h10, spot gold was trading at $1 271.39 an ounce.
On Thursday, oil prices plummeted as concerns about oversupply rose drastically in light of the increase in US production and the slower-than-expected impact of US sanction on Iran. At 18h10, Brent crude was trading at $70.97 per barrel.
Source: Reuters, Business Day, Trading Economics
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