JSE down on world markets

The JSE recouped some of its earlier losses, but remained lower at midday on Friday on hopes that United States jobs data due out later in the day would support a case for another rate cut in the US.

The local bourse was down more than 340 points in early trade following similar drops overseas stemming from renewed US subprime housing-market concerns and the quality of US companies’ earnings reports.

By noon, the all-share index was off 0,77%. Resources fell 1,18%, the gold-mining index gave up 1,25% but the platinum-mining index added 0,16%.
Financials lost 1,08%, banks were down 1,07% and industrials weakened 0,22%.

The rand was bid at 6,57 to the US dollar from 6,59 when the JSE closed on Thursday, while gold was quoted at $790,55 a troy ounce from $790,75/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“We are definitely better than we were this morning [Friday]. The market is waiting for US jobs data later this afternoon. I think that would give us a sign of whether the Fed would cut rates again,” one trader said.

On the resource index, Anglo American tumbled 2,28%, or R9,92, to R426,01 and BHP Billiton fell R1,88 to R240,25.

Coal miner Exxaro gained 40 cents to R100,90. Trade union Solidarity said earlier that it would ask the inspector of mines to shut down one of its mines after a worker was killed in an accident on Thursday night.

Among gold counters, AngloGold Ashanti slipped 1,95%, or R5,70, to R287 and Harmony dropped 2,86%, or R2,07, to R70,43.

Platinum miner Anglo Platinum was up R1,59 to R1 071 and Impala Platinum added 62 cents to R233,63.

On the industrial front, brewer SABMiller added 60 cents to R193,60 while sugar maker Illovo rallied 1,29%, or 29 cents, to R22,79.

Banking group Standard Bank dipped 2,29%, or R2,69, to R114,80, Absa was off 20 cents to R131,80 and FirstRand eased by the same margin to R24,90, but Nedbank improved 1,40%, or R1,99, to R144,50.

Life insurer Old Mutual slumped 1,91%, or 46 cents, to R23,67 and Sanlam eased 19 cents to R23,16.—I-Net Bridge

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