JSE opens firmer on gold stocks and Naspers after Dow hits new record

The JSE recorded broad-based gains at the opening on Friday‚ with property‚ miners and industrials early gainers after a positive close on the Dow.

A marginally weaker rand guided trade at the opening on a stable dollar following President Donald Trump’s announcement that Jerome Powell will be the next US Federal Reserve chair‚ replacing Janet Yellen in February.

The Dow closed 0.35% higher at a record 23‚516.26 points on Thursday as US markets were buoyed by the unveiling of the widely expected tax plan by Republicans in the House of Representatives.

The new tax bill is set to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% and will make it easier and less costly for businesses to bring home foreign earnings.

Asian markets were mixed‚ with the Shanghai Composite down 0.34% and the Hang Seng gaining 0.28%. The Nikkei was closed for a public holiday.

Naspers was again an early-morning market driver after Chinese internet company Tencent‚ of which Naspers owns about a third‚ jumped in Hong Kong trade.

The weaker rand supported miners‚ despite softer commodity‚ prices with platinum down 0.32% to R922.89/oz. The rand was at R14.0554 to the dollar from R13.9817.

At 9.30am the all share was up 0.39% to 59‚561.80 points and the blue-chip top 40 added 0.41%. The gold index rose 1.26%‚ property 0.48%‚ food and drug retailers 0.47%‚ industrials 0.46% and resources 0.40%.

Sasol gained 0.3% to R419.24.

ArcelorMittal was up 4.69% to R6.69.

Brait dropped 1.61% to R49.59‚ its lowest in a year. Brait is down 43% this year.

Among gold shares‚ Gold Fields rose 1.73% to R57.52 and AngloGold Ashanti 1.51% to R132.18.

Lonmin added 2.41% to R20. The platinum producer said in a full-year production report that platinum sales increased by 3.6% in the fourth quarter.

TFG rose 0.15% to R142.92 after reporting on Thursday that interim turnover rose 9.2% to end-September and headline earnings 5.6% to R1.1bn.

Truworths rebounded 0.39% to R74.99 after reporting retail sales declined 3% to R5.5bn during the first 17 weeks of the present financial year.

Shoprite was 0.54% up at R206.60 amid reports that 65% of Shoprite’s "outside shareholders" voted against the group’s remuneration policy at the 2017 annual general meeting.

Among property stocks‚ Nepi Rockcastle rose 0.65% to a record R201.30.

Naspers added 0.61% to R3‚452.35.

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