The JSE was in positive territory in noon trade on Friday, boosted by a turnaround on world markets and a bounce in precious metals prices. While dealers were not convinced the strength would last, it was nevertheless welcomed after the recent weakness.
By 12.01pm, the all share index advanced 1,84%. Resources rallied 2,44% and the platinum mining index jumped 2,07%, while the gold mining index gained 1,44%. Industrials and financials firmed 1,68% and 1,01% respectively, while the banks index was 0,66% better.
The rand was bid at 6,52 per dollar from 6,55 when the JSE closed on Thursday, while gold was quoted at $652,10 a troy ounce from $645,20/oz at the JSE’s last close.
A dealer said that the JSE was benefiting from stronger world markets generally, a turnaround in emerging markets as well as higher commodity prices.
“World markets are all stronger. The US was up last night after the softer-than-expected GDP number eased fears of a rate hike next month and this gave everyone some comfort. Emerging markets are benefiting from the Brazil story — Moody’s upgraded two of their cities — and their currencies are looking better
The dealer noted that while Brazil had rebounded on Thursday, it had been hit hard the previous session.
“Today the market did start a lot firmer than it is now and it has drifted gently down throughout the day. With the US and UK holiday on Monday, I think there might have been some short covering. We might see more of this towards the end of the day.”
A second dealer cautioned that while the JSE was a lot stronger, this did not mean the volatility of the last few days had ended.
“The market is reacting to individual news. Yesterday [Thursday] it was the US GDP number which quelled rate hike fears. Today there might be something else that could take it the other way,” he commented.
On the resources index, London-listed Anglo American added 2,99% or R7,53 to R259,53. BHP Billiton was boosted 2,32% or R2,93 to R129,05.
Petrochemicals group Sasol strengthened 2,57% or R6,36 to R254,11.
Harmony Gold was 2,31% or R2,10 higher at R93,10, Gold Fields gained 1,93% or R2,60 to R137, while AngloGold Ashanti inched 84 cents higher to R305,06.
Impala Platinum leaped 2,73% or R30 to R1 130 and AngloPlat added 1,34% or R7,84 to R592.
Swiss-listed luxury goods group Richemont roared ahead 3,98% or R1,17 to R30,58 and London-listed brewer SABMiller climbed 1% or R1,20 to R121,20.
Mittal Steel strengthened 2,83% or R1,80 to R65,50.
Cellular network operator MTN jumped 2,72% or R1,50 to R56,70 and Telkom rang up 2,8% or R3,75 to R137,75.
Retailer Shoprite bounced 3,99% or 94 cents to R24,49 rand, while Pick ‘n Pay perked up 2,63% or 75 cents to R29,25.
On the financial front, specialist bank Investec surged 4,02% or R13,22 to R342,47.
FirstRand firmed 1,35% or 24 cents to R18,04, Standard Bank climbed 66 cents to R77,50 and Nedbank was R1,05 in the black at R117,10.
Life insurer Liberty Group was up 1,81% or R1,25 at R79.
Short-term insurer Mutual & Federal, however, dived 8,48% or R2,80 to R30,20 and Santam tumbled 2,67% or R2 to R73.
Santam said on Friday that the short-term insurance market continued to soften amid competition for market share, contributing to downward pressure on rates and therefore underwriting margins. The growth of its quality business nevertheless remained healthy. – I-Net Bridge