/ 5 October 2007

JSE sideways on profit-taking

The JSE was slightly negative by midday on Friday, as profit-taking among platinum stocks led the bourse to give up some of its earlier gains.

By noon on the JSE, the all-share index had given up 0,06%, as platinum stocks dipped 3,23%. Resources were 0,24% lower, but the gold-mining index advanced 1,67%. Financials pulled back 0,15%, but banks edged up 0,65%. Industrials were 0,23% better.

The rand was bid at 6,89 to the US dollar, from 6,91 when the JSE closed on Thursday, while gold was quoted at $735,80 a troy ounce from $731,40/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“Gold stocks are recovering after a couple of shocks, even though the gold price is lower. They are recovering after Anglo American announced it was selling its stake in AngloGold. The other shock has been all the Harmony goldmine news, and also that gold fell back to the 720 level, but is now starting to recover,” explained a local equities trader.

He added that platinum stocks could either be pulling back on profit-taking, or on the news that Citigroup has initiated Anglo Platinum, Northam Platinum and Impala Platinum with sell ratings, which could have had an effect on the platinum-mining index.

“I think the market is flat as it is taking a breather. There is a bit of profit-taking ahead of the release of US data later today,” he said.

He added that the JSE would take its cue from Wall Street’s reaction to the non-farm payrolls data later during the day.

By midday on the JSE, Anglo American added 80 cents to R463,50, while BHP Billiton was off by only one cent, to R241,10 and Sasol edged up 80 cents to R321,70.

Among platinum stocks, Anglo Platinum pulled back R45, or 3,81%, to R1 135, while Impala Platinum lost R7,75, or 2,96%, to R254 and Lonmin shed R4,44 to R498,06.

Gold miner AngloGold collected R3,01 to R310, while Goldfields firmed R2,40, or 1,99%, to R123, and Harmony perked up 2,42%, or R1,79, to R75,85. All of the 3 200 mineworkers who were trapped underground at Harmony’s Elandsrand Mine have been rescued, after they were trapped about 2 200m underground late on Wednesday night.

Harmony on Thursday said the mine near Carletonville has been shut down and will remain closed for three to six weeks.

In the telecommunications sector, mobile operator MTN Group fell 1,14%, or R1,32, to R114,89 and fixed-line operator Telkom pulled back R1,06 to R178,43.

Elsewhere, brewer SABMiller drifted R2,89, or 1,45% higher, to R201,89.

Among banks, Standard Bank lifted R1,40, or 1,27%, to R111,50 and Nedbank was up R1,34, or 1,02%, to R132,34.

Property group Liberty International weakened 5,12%, or R8,55, to R158,50, which according to one trader, was because property stocks were down in the UK, as there were hints of further rises in the UK interest rate. – I-Net Bridge