Positive US futures help JSE recover

An indication from positive United States futures that a battered Wall Street could open firmer on Monday, led to a slight recovery on the JSE by noon.

The JSE was down over 1,5% in the morning session on global concerns that the US market could go into a recession after job numbers came out worse than expected on Friday.

By noon, the JSE’s all-share index was down 0,48%. Financials lost 0,86% and banks fell 0,71%. Industrials gave up 0,43%, while resources were off 0,41%. The platinum mining index retreated 0,36% but the gold mining index recovered 0,42%.

The rand was bid at 6,90 to the US dollar, from 6,85 when the JSE closed on Friday, while gold was quoted at $859,10 a troy ounce from $855,35/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“The JSE is down a bit, but it is well of its lows from the morning session and is looking much better,” said a local trader.

The trader explained that concerns of a possible US recession as a result of worse than expected US jobs data led global markets to open sharply lower on Monday.

“US futures are positive and they have helped to soften the blow a bit, but the JSE is still weak following the weak sessions in the US on Friday and in Asia today” he said.

On Friday, the DJIA fell 1,96%, the Nasdaq pulled back 3,77% and the S&P 500 lost 2,46%.

By midday in the JSE’s resources sector, Melbourne-based BHP Billiton eased 25 cents to R209,40, while Anglo American was off R3,88 to R410,12. Petrochemicals group Sasol shed 54 cents to R352.

Platinum miner Anglo Platinum perked up R18,01, or 1,77%, to R1 038,01, but Impala Platinum was down R4,50, or 1,81%, to R244,50. Aquarius Platinum gained 82 cents, or 1,05%, to R78,99.

It earlier said that its Marikana and Everest mines had passed the presidential safety audits in respect of mine safety as conducted by the Department of Minerals and Energy Affairs.

Gold mining group AngloGold Ashanti slipped 75 cents to R315 but Harmony lifted R1,94, or 2,45%, to R81.

Elsewhere, brewer SABMiller was up R2,07, or 1,09%, to R191,95. The acceptance period for SABMiller’s offer for Dutch brewer Koninklijke Grolsch NV (Grolsch) commences on Tuesday and ends on February 5, it said earlier.

The offer is a cash offer for all the issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of Grolsch of €48,25 per share.

In the telecommunications sector, fixed-line operator Telkom dipped R1,50, or 1,1%, to R134,50 and mobile operator MTN Group (MTN) retreated 87 cents to R127,14.

Banking group Firstrand pulled back 22 cents, or 1,14%, to R19,15 and Nedbank was off 85 cents to R129,14. – I-Net Bridge

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