JSE: Investors prefer sidelines, eye US

The JSE continued to move sideways at noon on Wednesday as investors preferred the sidelines prior to the United States opening.

One trader said that with the possibility of an interest-rate cut in US markets next week, markets are busy consolidating.

“Although the Dow was up last night, US futures are down,” he said.

The Dow Jones closed 1,38% higher at 13 308,39 points.

The trader added that because of a possibility of an interest-rate cut, the dollar is weaker, having a positive effect on metals and commodity prices.

Higher metals prices have been driving miners higher over the last three days.

At 11.59am, the all-share index lost 0,11%. Industrials shed 0,41%, financials dipped 0,37% and banks fell 0,77%. Resources recovered 0,26%, with the gold-mining index climbing 2,99% and the platinum-mining index adding 0,57%.

The rand was bid at 7,19 to the US dollar from 7,18 when the JSE closed on Tuesday, while gold was quoted at $709,45 a troy ounce from $706,90 at the JSE’s last close.

Among resource stocks, Anglo American gave up 25 cents to R410,20 and BHP Billiton shed 93 cents to R211.

Petrochemical giant Sasol edged up 50 cents to R295.

AngloGold climbed R9, or 3%, to R309, while Harmony added R2,45, or 3,26%, to R77,60 and Goldfields advanced R3,45, or 2,87%, to R123,70.

Anglo Platinum was up R8 to R1 003 and Impala Platinum gained R1,01 to R217,01.

Paper and pulp producer Sappi climbed R3,84, or 3,55%, to R112.

In the telecommunications sector, MTN Group was off R1,19, or 1,06%, to R110,70, and fixed-line operator Telkom fell R2,79, or 1,5%, to R183,20.

Life assurance group Liberty Holdings shot up R8,99, or 4,22%, to R222.

South African financial-services group Metropolitan Holdings rose 5,23%, or 75 cents, to R15,10.

On Wednesday it reported a 35% increase in diluted core headline earnings per share to 61,28 cents for the six months ended June, from 45,26 cents a year ago. An interim dividend of 36 cents per share was declared, up 24% from the previous year’s 29 cents. Diluted core headline earnings were up 28% to R440-million.

Black economic empowerment finance company Makalani Holdings collected 1,08%, or R1, to R94.

It on Wednesday reported headline earnings per share of 367 cents for the year ended June from 206 cents a year ago. Earnings per linked unit rose to 1 004 cents from a previous 793 cents. A final distribution per linked unit of 454 cents has been declared, which together with the interim distribution makes a total distribution of 900 cents, comprising 229 cents of dividend and 671 cents of interest.—I-Net Bridge

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