The JSE was a touch higher at midday on Wednesday, lifted by miners on soaring metal prices, but weaker overseas markets and the stronger rand dampened the overall mood.
At noon, the all-share index was up just 0,12% higher, thanks to a 2,31% and 1,70%
gains by the gold and platinum mining indices. Resources added 1,39%, but industrials lost 0,65%, financials fell 1,33% and banks gave up 1,39%.
The rand was bid at 6,45 to the US dollar, from 6,49 when the JSE closed on Tuesday, while gold was quoted at $840,35 a troy ounce from $822,05/oz at the JSE’s last close.
“We are up just a bit, but with a weaker bias because of the stronger rand and profit-taking induced selling in Europe,” a local trader said.
European markets are down with London shares nearly 50 points lower and Paris stocks down more than 40 points.
But rising commodity prices, with the gold prices zooming towards $900/oz level, are underpinning heavyweight miners’ gains.
On the resource index, Anglo American added 1,06%, or R4,55 to R432,75 and BHP Billiton was up 1,27%, or R3,04, to R242,55.
Petrochemicals giant Sasol added 1,57%, or R5,09, to R330,19.
Among gold miners, AngloGold Ashanti climbed 2,53%, or R7,40, to R299,50, Gold Fields rallied 2%, or R2,30, to R117,30 and Harmony firmed 2,69%, or R1,97, to R75,21.
Platinum miner Anglo Platinum edged up R6 to R1 064 and Impala Platinum was 2,82%, or R6,80, better at R247,80.
On the industrial front, luxury goods group Richemont tumbled 2,23%, or R1, to R43,76, brewer SABMiller was off 1,40%, or R2,70, at R190,70 and consumer food brands group Tiger Brands shed R1,09 to R191,50.
Among banks, Standard Bank dropped 1,27%, or R1,45, to R112,30, Absa dipped 1,42%, or R1,97, to R137,13 and FirstRand slipped 1,02%, or 26 cents, to R25,33. – I-Net Bridge