Billiton talk helps JSE advance

Talk of China’s interest in a stake in BHP Billiton has sent the resources index northward and, in turn, helped the JSE advance further by midday on Wednesday.

Dow Jones newswires said that the Australian reported in its Wednesday edition China is in the early stages of planning to buy a stake in miner BHP Billiton.

By noon, the JSE’s broader all-share index added 0,67% as resources lifted 2,13%. The platinum-mining index climbed 0,61% and the gold-mining index rose 0,10%. Industrials were off 0,57%, banks pulled back 0,97% and financials dipped 1,01%.

The rand was bid at 7,79 to the United States dollar from 7,78 when the JSE closed on Tuesday, while gold was quoted at $907,80 a troy ounce from $911,00/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“Resources are doing well on the BHP Billiton-China story, which is flowing over to gold and platinum counters, but tomorrow’s [Thursday] MPC [monetary policy committee] rate decision is keeping investors out of interest-rate sensitive stocks,” said an equities trader.

He added that South African Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni has recently been very hawkish—with comments about interest rates and inflation targets—which is making investors very nervous to move into the banking, financial and industrial sectors.

“The market is very jittery. The MPC might put up rates by 50 basis points, but they also might leave rates unchanged. Who knows?” he said

Looking on the JSE, resource heavyweight Anglo American was up R13, or 2,62%, to R509,50, while BHP Billiton rallied R10,24, or 4%, to R266. Sasol added R2,11 to R411,61 and Exxaro climbed R3,02, or 2,54%, to R122.

Gold counter AngloGold Ashanti pulled back R2 to R277,50 but Gold Fields advanced R1,22, or 1,14%, to R107,97.

Platinum mining share Anglo Platinum edged up R4,01 to R1 276,01 and Impala Platinum gained R2,76 to R324,75.

Diversified industrials group Remgro dropped R2,45, or 1,19%, to R203,15 and Bidvest retreated R3,65, or 2,97%, to R119,35.

Brewer SABMiller was R1,60 lower, at R168,80 and luxury goods group Richemont pulled back 49 cents, or 1,09%, to R44,50.

Banking group FirstRand withdrew by 30 cents, or 1,75%, to R16,87 and Nedbank dipped R2,50, or 2,05%, to R119,50.—I-Net Bridge



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