Johannesburg - The JSE reversed earlier losses to close firmer on Wednesday as index heavyweight Naspers catapulted the local bourse.
Naspers [JSE:NPN] rallied after the release of first-quarter earnings results from its Hong Kong-listed associate, Tencent Holdings.
The much-anticipated Tencent Holdings earnings results blew past analysts’ expectations as revenues for the quarter soared to 23.3 billion yuan, higher than the forecast average of 17 billion yuan.
As a result of those earnings, Naspers quickly erased earlier losses to eventually close the day up 5.16% at R3 260.00 per share.
Aspen [JSE:APN] also rallied on the back of positive sentiment around potential suitors for its infant formula business. The stock closed at R265.00 per share, up 4.54% for the day.
Retailers recorded a mild recovery mainly due the firmer rand which saw stocks such as The Foschini Group [JSE:TFG] and Mr Price [JSE:MRP] add 1.41% and 1.23% respectively.
The positive trend in Lewis [JSE:LEW] continued as the stock climbed 7.03% to close at R44.18 per share. Brait [JSE:BAT] managed to add 2.33%, while Grindrod [JSE:GND] and Exxaro [JSE:EXX] firmed by 3% and 3.18% respectively.
Steinhoff International [JSE:SNH] had a small reprieve as the stock managed to add 3.95% to close at R1.58 per share.
Mediclinic [JSE:MEI] and Life Healthcare [JSE:LHC] lost 1.17% and 0.04% respectively, while rand hedges Richemont [JSE:CFR] and British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] closed 0.43% and 0.73% weaker respectively.
The JSE Top-40 Index rebounded to close the day 1.51% firmer, while the JSE All-Share Index managed to gain 1.26%.
A positive close was recorded across most of the major indices, with the biggest gainer the Industrials Index which gained 2.02%. The Resources Index added 0.77% while the Financials Index gained 0.55%.
The rand fared well against the US dollar as it gained more than 1% to peak at a session high of R12.39/$. The local currency was still trading firmer when the JSE closed at 17:00 as it was trading at R12.45/$.
Gold continued to trade under pressure as the US dollar maintained its gains. The precious metal slipped to a session low $1 286.46 per ounce before it recovered marginally to trade at $1 288.10/oz at 17:00.
Platinum traded weaker on the day, and at 17:00 it was trading at $888.60/oz down 0.94% for the day. Palladium bucked the trend and inched higher. It was trading 0.35% firmer at $985.69/oz just after the JSE close.
Brent crude traded softer as it slipped to a session low of $77.61 per barrel. It recovered briefly to trade at $78.25/barrel just after the JSE closed.
On the crytocurrency market, bitcoin is threatening to break below $8 000 per coin as it traded mostly under pressure today. The coin was trading $8 208.12 per coin at 17:00, while Ethereum was trading at $691.05 per coin at that same time.
- Fin24 is part of 24.com, a division of Media24, which is a subsidiary of Naspers.