The Nikkei Index reached a new six-month high on Thursday on the back of strong U.S. growth data and a weaker Yen, which supported investor sentiment and lifted exporters.
The Hang Seng Index slipped lower in volatile trading on Thursday with investors preferring to be cautious ahead of the release of China's official PMI number for July on Friday.
According to Reuters, European markets are expected to open steady on Thursday, recovering from the previous day's decline, with Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo under the spotlight after announcing a huge loss and reporting that it will start increasing its capital base.
Reuters reports that US markets ended mostly firmer on Wednesday with banking stocks supporting the S&P 500 index, and biotechnology stocks boosting the technology-heavy NASDAQ after the U.S. central bank presented a better assessment of the U.S. economy, reaffirmed that it is in no hurry to raise interest rates but reduced its monthly asset purchases to $25-billion from $35-billion as was expected.
Business Day reports that the JSE All Share Index closed in negative territory on Wednesday on the back of some profit-taking in the banking sector after their recent strong gains‚while the gold price fell and dragged miners lower on the release of strong US GDP data.
The Rand is trading weaker at R10.6107 against the US Dollar, with the Euro quoted at R14.2233 and the British Pound at R17.9451.
The gold price last trading lower at $1,299.30, with the platinum price quoted at $1,476.70, while the palladium price is trading higher at $880.30.
Brent was last trading slightly higher at $107.52 a barrel.