JSE extends losses, follows world markets

The JSE continued to extend its reach into the red at midday on Thursday, following nervous world markets.

By noon on the JSE, the all-share index was 1,14% lower, led by a 1,87% retreat in resources. The gold mining index pulled back 1,06% and the platinum mining index was off 0,89%. Industrials were 0,67% weaker, and financials dropped 0,41%, but banks were flat (-0,1%).

“The JSE is taking its cue from overseas markets, and the Anglos and Billitons are coming off. We are also seeing overseas selling coming in,” said a local equities trader.

Looking at overseas markets, the United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 shed 0,17%, and Asian markets were mixed. The Hang Seng lost 2,3% but the Nikkei rose 0,34%. US

markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

He added that with overseas markets being very nervous with the Dow right now, the sentiment is not helping the market, and investors are hedging quality shares.

Commenting on gold, he said: “I think gold is forming a base to go higher, but it has to go extremely higher for gold shares to react.”

At noon, the rand was bid at 6,78 to the US dollar, from 6,79 when the JSE closed on Wednesday, while gold was quoted at $802,40 a troy ounce from $799,20/oz at the JSE’s last close.

Resource group Anglo American was down R12,74, or 3,13%, to R394, while BHP Billiton fell R3,63, or 1,72%, to R207,09 and Sasol was off R3,56, or 1,01%, to R348,49.

Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti pulled back R4,50, or 1,52%, to R292,50 and Harmony eased 50 cents to R66,40.

In the platinum and precious metals sector, Anglo Platinum gave up R17, or 1,84%, to R905 and Lonmin lost R15,80, or 3,86%, to R393,20.

Construction company Basil Read dipped R1,95, or 5,79%, to R31,75, and Raubex slipped R1,50, or 4%, to R36.

Packaging manufacturer Nampak recovered 11 cents to R21,71. It reported earlier that it had lifted its full year to September diluted headline earnings per share by 19,6% to 175,4 cents from 146,6 cents.

Diversified industrials group Barloworld (BAW) weakened R2,99, or 2,49%, to R117 and brewer SABMiller retreated R1,25 to R177.

In the media sector, Naspers slumped R2,77, or 1,54%, to R177,23 and Johnnic Communications was down R1 to R101,50. Johncom, which will soon be changing its name to Avusa, earlier reported an increase in its diluted headline earnings per share to 1 676 cents for the six months to September 30 2007 from 300 cents at the same time last year.

Mobile telecommunications services provider MTN Group announced on Thursday that it has concluded an agreement to purchase a further interest in MTN Rwanda, increasing its shareholding from 40% to 55%. Its share price was 98 cents lower at R122,50.

Fixed-line telecommunications group Telkom was up 89 cents to R164,89. Earlier, the board of directors of telecommunications company Telkom announced on Thursday that it had appointed Reuben September as chief executive officer with immediate effect. Since April 2007 he has served as acting chief executive officer.

Banker Absa shed one cent to R127,99. Earlier, Fitch Ratings announced that it has revised Absa Group and Absa Bank’s outlooks for their long-term local currency issuer default ratings (IDR) to negative from stable. Firstrand eased 22 cents to R23,67 and Standard Bank inched up 35 cents to R109,35. – I-Net Bridge

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