JSE a touch firmer in midday trade

The JSE continued on a lacklustre path as it edged up slightly from its flat open to trade 0,68% higher at midday on Monday. World markets were also flat at midday amid a continued lack of activity as United States traders took a day off to celebrate Labour Day.

One trader explained that US subprime issues had spilled over on to global markets, and that the world was looking to the US for direction as it was the main source for the global concerns in subprime issues.

He added that there was a bit of an upside in world markets when US President George Bush spoke last week Friday, commenting on support for homeowners in that country, and now the world is waiting for the US’s next move.

He concluded by saying that with the US market closed for a public holiday, the world was pretty flat as investors globally were waiting for Wall Street to settle their subprime issues.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed 0,27% lower to 16 524,93 and in London the FTSE100 was last up 0,38%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0,90% to 13 357,74, the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1,21% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 1,12%, to 1 473,99.

By midday on the JSE, the all-share index was up 0,68%. Resources added 0,59%, the gold mining index rose 2,19% and the platinum mining index firmed 0,93%. Industrials advanced 0,64%, financials collected 0,96% and banks recovered 1,04%.

The rand was bid at R7,16 to the dollar from R7,18 when the JSE closed on Friday, while gold was quoted at $673,35 a troy ounce from $672,65/oz at the JSE’s last close.

Among resource stocks, Anglo American was up R2,03 at R413, but Kumba Iron Ore gave up R2,50, or 1,20%, to R205,50.

African Rainbow Mineral advanced R5,50, or 4,68%, to R123. It reported on Monday record headline earnings per share of R5,80 for the year to end June 2007. This is a 158% increase on last year’s R2,25 a share. The company also declared its first dividend of R1,50 a share.

Petrochemical giant Sasol climbed R1,84 to R290,84.

Gold stocks shone as miners were in positive territory. Anglogold Ashanti perked up R7,79, or 2,79%, to R287 and Goldfields lifted R2,10, or 1,92%, to R111,60.

Platinum stocks also started to recover at midday. Anglo Platinum was nine rand higher at R963 and Lonmin collected R8,66, or 1,94%, to R456.

Construction stock Murray and Roberts climbed 4,25%, or R3,20, to R78,50 and diversified industrial group Argent edged up 3,59%, or 70 cents, to R20,20.

In the food and beverage sector, brewer SAB Miller edged up R1,50 to R197,50, and distiller and vintner Distell was 3,10%, or R1,95 stronger, at R64,95.

In the telecommunications sector, fixed-line operator Telkom firmed R4,30, or 2,44%, to R180,50 and mobile operator MTN Group gave up 68 cents to R108,12.

In the real-estate sector, Liberty International fell 64 cents to R172,36.

Sanlam was 2,97%, or 64 cents higher, at R22,20. — I-Net Bridge

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