Local stocks advanced for a second consecutive session on Thursday as global markets remained resurgent.

Optimism remained due to another surge in crude oil prices as investors assessed whether the worst of the downtrend was over.

Most global stocks rose despite weak manufacturing and services PMI numbers from the euro zone and the US. The US also released worse than expected initial jobless claims as the world’s largest economy continues to shed jobs.

Trading in Asian stocks was mixed as advances were recorded for the Nikkei and Hang Seng which rose 1.52% and 0.35% respectively, while the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.25%.

The rand fluctuated between gains and losses before it was recorded trading 0.12% firmer at R18.98/$ at 17:00 CAT.

On the JSE, Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] advanced 17.5% to close at R67.95 while Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] surged 17.47% to close at R156.94 as they were both amongst the day’s biggest movers. Sibanye Stillwater [JSE:SSW] surged 16.59% to close at R37.66, while Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] gained 10.14% to close at R357.58.

Zeder Investments [JSE:ZED] found some momentum as it jumped 7.43% to close at R1.88, while PSG Group [JSE:PSG] added 12.63% to close at R158.21. Oil and gas producer Sasol [JSE:SOL] managed to add another 12.85% as it closed at R66.40.

Significant gains were also recorded for Investec PLC [JSE:INP] which rose 5.33% to close at R36.37, as well as British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] which closed at R691.77 after adding 2.3%.
Another lukewarm session ensued for most listed property stocks as they traded mostly weaker in Thursday’s session. Hyprop Investments [JSE:HYP] fell 7.27% to close at R15.70, Vulike Property Fund [JSE:VKE] lost 5.23% to close at R5.80, and Hammerson PLC [JSE:HMN] retreated 3.93% to close at R13.69.

Super Group [JSE:SPG] weakened by 3.88% as it closed at R13.12, while Capitec Bank Holdings [JSE:CPI] retreated 2% to close at R924.17. Retailers came under some pressure as declines were recorded for Truworths International [JSE:TRU] which lost 2.33% to close at R29.80, and The Foschini Group [JSE:TFG] which closed at R74.46 after losing 1.25%.
The JSE All-share index eventually closed 3.1% higher while the JSE Top-40 index gained 3.19%. The resources index jumped 6.24% while the industrials and financials indices chipped in with gains of 1.67% and 1.72% respectively.

Brent crude continued its recovery as it was recorded trading 11.68% higher at $22.75/barrel just after the JSE close.

At 17:00 CAT, palladium was up 6.05% at $2 055.94/Oz, gold had gained 1.17% to trade at $1 734.15/Oz, while platinum was 0.28% firmer at $768.12/Oz.

* Musa Makoni is a trading specialist at Purple Group.

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