JSE recovers as miners get boost

The JSE was firmer by midday on Tuesday as a weaker United States dollar helped precious metals boost mining stocks on the bourse.

By noon, the broader all-share index was 0,57% better, led by a 1,74% climb in the gold-mining index. The platinum-mining index gained 1,4% and resources added 1,17%. Banks collected 0,61%, while financials inched up 0,03% and industrials were 0,16% higher.

The rand was bid at 6,87 to the US dollar, from 6,90 when the JSE closed on Monday, while gold was quoted at $873,50 a troy ounce from $859,95/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“The JSE is looking good after the big sell-off yesterday [Monday] following the negative performance of the Dow on Friday and downgraded growth prospects for the US. It had to have a bit of a small bounce today,” said one local trader.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped almost 2% as a result of worse-than-expected jobs data, and concern that the US economy could be facing a recession.

The trader said that currently the dollar was weaker, and as a result precious-metals prices had started to firm.

“But the market is still very nervous and the projections for local and international markets for the next six months aren’t looking very good. The guys are waiting for local retail sales numbers to see if the consumer has come through for the market, but the market is very concerned about growth prospects, which are looking terrible worldwide, except for China and India,” he added.

The trader concluded that the market would be eyeing South African Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni’s repo rate announcement at the next monetary policy committee meeting at the end of January to see if the decision would calm down local jitters or add to the economic slowdown.

Taking a look at resource stocks on the JSE at noon, Melbourne-based BHP Billiton was up R2,90, or 1,41%, to R207,90 and Anglo American recovered R2,50 to R405,50. Petrochemicals group Sasol advanced R3,59, or 1,03%, to R353,60.

Gold mining group AngloGold Ashanti lifted R8,05, or 2,54%, to R324,55, while Harmony rose 99 cents, or 1,22%, to R81,89.

Among platinum-mining stocks, Anglo Platinum collected R28,95, or 2,9%, to R1 027 and Lonmin gained R9,69, or 2,28%, to R435,17.

Diversified industrial group Barloworld was off 40 cents to R93,50 but brewer SABMiller recovered R3,41, or 1,78%, to R195. The acceptance period for SABMiller’s offer for Dutch brewer Koninklijke Grolsch NV commences on Tuesday and ends on February 5, according to SABMiller.

Swiss-based luxury goods group Richemont eased 36 cents to R44,28.

In the bank sector, Absa improved R2,17, or 2,05%, to R108,18 and FirstRand added 20 cents, or 1,05%, to R19,20.

Property group Liberty International dipped R3,17, or 2,27%, to R136,23. — I-Net Bridge

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