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Futures higher as JSE gains on weaker rand following abysmal budget

25 October 2017 4:41 PM
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South African futures rose on Wednesday in the wake of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS), which saw rand hedges soar on a substantially weaker currency.

The Dow had lost 0.44% soon after the JSE’s close on profit-taking, after hitting yet another high on Tuesday.

European markets were lower ahead of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) expected monetary-stimulus tapering announcement on Thursday, and as the euro gained on the dollar. Stronger GDP numbers in the UK raised the spectre of higher interest rates, sending the FTSE 100 1.18% lower by the JSE’s close.

The all share gained 0.38% to 58,123.1 points and the top 40 0.5%. Gold miners added 1.97%, platinums 1.89%, industrials 0.87%, and resources 0.51%. The property index fell 1.56%, banks 1.11%, and financials 0.95%.

Dow Jones Newswires said ECB president Mario Draghi and his colleagues were widely expected to say they would start tapering the central bank’s monthly bond purchases, but questions remain as to the size of the reduction.

The UK’s central bank is in focus too, after data showed the British economy was doing better than had been forecast. Thursday’s preliminary reading on third-quarter GDP indicated growth of 0.4% over the previous three months, against an average forecast of 0.3%.

The data is expected to be assessed by Bank of England policy makers when they meet on November 2, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Across the Atlantic, investors were bracing for President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the US central bank. On Tuesday, Trump asked Senate Republicans who the next US Federal Reserve boss should be, with Stanford University economist John Taylor reportedly beating out Fed governor Jerome Powell. The president is expected to announce his choice before starting a trip to Asia on November 3.

Despite the relative calm in US markets, this earnings season is triggering some serious single-stock moves. The 67 stocks with liquid options that have reported earnings so far have moved up or down 4% after their financial results, making this earnings season one of the most volatile in the past five years, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The top-40 Alsi futures index gained 0.49% to 52,439 points. The number of contracts traded was 14,907 from Tuesday’s 16‚412.


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