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28 Jan 2008 13:05
A pull back in global equity markets as well as local concerns about power-supply shortages continued to keep the JSE at weak levels by midday on Monday.
By noon, the JSE’s broader all-share index was down 2,79%.
Banks pulled back 3,89% and financials were off 2,55%.
The rand was bid at 7,19 to the United States dollar from 7,08 when the JSE closed on Friday, while gold was quoted at $916,95 a troy ounce from $918,75/oz at the JSE’s last close.
“The JSE has obviously given back quite a lot because of our own problems and because of world markets,” said a local trader.
On Friday, Wall Street’s DJIA fell 1,38%, the Nasdaq dipped 1,47% and the S&P500 lost 1,59%. This led Asian markets off to a lower start. In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 4,25% and the Nikkei gave up 3,97%. The United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 was 1.08% lower.
Added to that is the negative news on the local front about a halt in production at mining companies due to power shortages, which has continued to dampen the JSE.
On Friday, both gold- and platinum-mining companies confirmed that they had suspended production because of electricity shortages. This triggered a wave of concerns about the safety of mineworkers and the function of the mines, which put pressure on stocks.
This came after national power utility Eskom could not guarantee supply to the mines.
However, the government and the local mining industry are in talks to develop immediate measures to enable shut-down mines to reopen.
Among banks and financials on the JSE, FirstRand weakened 89 cents, or 5,03%, to R6,81 and Standard Bank decreased R3,80, or 3,96%, to R92,20.
On the JSE’s platinum-mining sector, Anglo Platinum retreated R32, or 3,18%, to R975 and Impala Platinum declined R9,62, or 3,89%, to R237,58.
Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti edged up 51 cents to R303,50 but Harmony was down R3,30, or 4,34%, to R72,70.
Resource group BHP Billiton dropped R5,85, or 2,9%, to R195,85 and Anglo American fell R23,16, or 6,16%, to R353. Sasol recovered R5,33, or 1,73%, to R313,33.
Diversified industrial group Imperial pulled back R3,37, or 4,06%, to R79,63, brewer SABMiller gave up R2,49, or 1,51%, to R162 and sugar producer Illovo shed R1, or 4.,5%, to R22.—I-Net Bridge
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