SA government support for J&J programme lifts JSE
JOHANNESBURG - THE JSE TRADED in the green on Friday, after the South African government announced its support for the resumption of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination programme.
The government on Thursday said that the temporary suspension of the J&J vaccine on the Sisonke Vaccination Programme would be lifted, but a date was yet to be confirmed.
The JSE All Share Index rose 0.46 percent to 67 278 points, lifted by gains in resources, industrial metals and mining, and consumer services.
The JSE’s benchmark index took advantage as US equities traded lower as global investors turned cautious after US President Joe Biden announced plans to tax the wealthy.
The economic picture continues to improve in the US with initial claims for unemployment insurance falling to 547 000 last week from 576 000 the prior week.
The Biden administration is looking to raise the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6 percent from 37 percent, while also doubling capital gains tax to 39.6 percent for people earning more than $1 million (R14.29m).
Markets.com chief analyst Neil Wilson said the tax on the wealthy sounded like furlough, but on a permanent basis.
Wilson said the markets could overcome this move even if it managed to pass through the Senate.
The rand was also steady at R14.29 to the dollar, sticking to its recent trading pattern, with investors staying cautious over an economic recovery as global Covid-19 infections mount.
However, South Africa’s new cases of infections on a seven-day rolling average are at 1 202 from 1 137 individuals a week ago, with the curve essentially flat.
Investec chief economist Annabel Bishop said South Africa had avoided dire lockdown restrictions in April, both on the economy and on travel activity.
Bishop said that the avoidance of interprovincial travel bans with light lockdown restrictions would have benefited tourism and other sectors of the economy.