JSE softer, led by overseas markets

The JSE was in the red at midday on Monday, taking its cue from lower overseas equity markets.

By noon, the broader all-share index had shed 0,13% to 27 474,230 points.

Industrials were down 0,56%, while banks lost 0,43% and financials were off 0,29%.

The gold mining index was unchanged, resources inched up 0,27% and the platinum mining index lifted 2,78%.

The rand was bid at 6,72 to the US dollar from 6,79 when the JSE closed on Friday, while gold was quoted at $912,75 a troy ounce from $891,45/oz at the JSE’s last close.

Gold hit another record high of $914,40/oz on Monday, while the platinum price traded up to $1 589/oz -‒ just short of its new high of $1 589,50/oz.

“Overseas markets ended lower on Friday, and I think everyone is waiting to see what happens in the US market later to find direction,” said a Johannesburg-based equities trader.

On Wall Street on Friday, the DJIA ended 1,92% lower, the Nasdaq fell 1,95% and the S&P500 lost 1,36%. In Asia on Monday, the Hang Seng dropped 1,48%, while Tokyo markets are closed for a holiday. However, the UK’s FTSE 100 was up a slight 0,15%.

The trader added that commodity prices were performing strongly, with both gold and platinum prices at record levels.

Looking at local stocks at noon, resource group BHP Billiton eased R1,94 to R198,06 and Anglo American was two cents softer at R379,98. Sasol improved R4, or 1,18%, to R344.

Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti was down R4, or 1,15%, to R342,99 but Harmony collected R1,24, or 1,43%, to R88,25.

Among platinum counters, Anglo Platinum shot up R52, or 4,71%, to R1 115 and Impala Platinum recovered R3,90, or 1,61%, to R245,90.

Elsewhere, in the building and construction sector, Basil Read fell R1,35, or 5,08%, to R25,20 and Murray and Roberts lost R3,75, or 4,32%, to R83. Road construction group Raubex tumbled R5,45, or 11,86%, to R40,50. Traders explained that its share was being hurt by a broker downgrade from “hold” to “sell”.

Investec Securities said in a note on Monday that it had downgraded its recommendation for the stock to “sell” from “hold” and slashed its target price by 3% to R42,51.

Diversified industrial group Argent pulled back R1,10, or 6,25%, to R16,50 and brewer SABMiller shed R86 to R178,30.

Among financial and bank stocks, Investec was off 25 cents at R59,30 and Standard Bank eased 75 cents to R94,25. – I-Net Bridge

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