/ 17 October 2007

Mixed JSE stung by world markets

The JSE was over 200 points in the red by midday on Wednesday, as the United States consumer slowdown continued to weigh on Wall Street and the weakness spilled over onto global markets.

However, some indices posted gains, even though the broader all-share index was down.

By noon, the all-share index was down 0,8% as resources lost 1,72%. The platinum mining index pulled back 0,53%, but the gold mining index advanced 0,84%.

Financials were unchanged and banks climbed 1,15%. Industrials were 0,03% higher.

The rand was bid at 6,80 to the US dollar from 6,88 when the JSE closed on Tuesday, while gold was quoted at $759,65 a troy ounce from $756,25oz at the JSE’s last close.

According to a local trader, world markets are lower because of the US consumer slowdown, which has been affecting commodity stocks. “This has filtered through to a mixed JSE,” said the trader.

He added that the news that trading on India’s two bourses was halted for an hour on Wednesday as investors reacted to a plan by the capital markets regulator — the Securities and Exchange Board of India — to restrict the issue of participatory notes to overseas investors, only affected the Indian market, and not Asia.

“Asia was lower because of the US, and this followed through to us, even though we are not as bad as we were earlier this morning,” he said.

Among stocks on the JSE’s resource index, BHP Billiton slipped R6,65, or 2,61%, to R248,55, while Anglo American gave up R16,19, or 3,47%, to R450,50.

On Tuesday, resource stock BHP Billiton overtook Anglo as the biggest stock on the JSE by market capitalisation.

Petrochemicals group Sasol collected R3,40, or 1,03%, to R334,45.

Platinum stock Anglo Platinum shed R7,50 to R1 121,50, Lonmin lost R19,99, or 4,01%, to R479 and Impala Platinum was off 40 cents to R239,60.

Northam slipped R1,40, or 2,78%, to R49. On Tuesday, the Inspector of Mines issued Northam with an order to temporarily stop underground operations. This follows the death of an employee early on Tuesday morning in a fall of ground in a stope about 1 600m below surface.

In the gold mining sector, AngloGold Ashanti added R5,38, or 1,82%, to R301,39, while Goldfields rose 25 cents to R126,75 and Harmony edged up 10 cents to R68.

Paper and pulp producer Sappi was up R2,24, or 2,25%, to R101,99, and Mondi advanced R1,92, or 3,24%, to R61,17.

Brewer SABMiller shed R1,45 to R199,01.

MTN group retreated 35 cents to R112,65, but Telkom climbed R1,94, or 1,05%, to R185,94.

Among bank and financial stocks, Nedbank was R1,45, or 1,06% higher, at R137,86 and Standard Bank added R2,37, or 2,26%, to R107,27. RMB Holdings collected 66 cents, or R1,89, to R35,61, but Investec dipped one cent to 71.83 rand. – I-Net Bridge