Banks, world markets enliven JSE

The JSE had been lifted into the black by noon on Monday as firmer world markets and advances in the bank sector helped enliven the bourse after its soft opening.

By noon, the broader all-share index had gained 0,92% to 29 016,26 points.

Banks perked up 2%, while financials advanced 1,63% and industrials collected 1,66%. The platinum mining index improved 0,19%, while resources inched up 0,12%, but the gold mining index was 2,44% in the red.

The rand was bid at 7,40 to the US dollar from 7,38 when the JSE closed on Friday, while gold was quoted at $897,90 a troy ounce from $928,15/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“We saw a bit of profit-taking on the JSE this morning, but positive international markets turned most sectors around,” said a local trader.

The UK’s FTSE 100 was 0,11% better, while in Asia, the Hang Seng rose 3,77% and the Nikkei lifted 2,69%.

Last week the resources sector had been supported by the weaker rand and corporate activity.

US aluminium giant Alcoa and Aluminium Corp of China (Chinalco) announced last week they will take a 12% stake in Rio Tinto, which according to traders, would probably block BHP Billiton’s bid for Rio Tinto.

Last year, BHP Billiton proposed talks based on a three-for-one all-share offer for Rio, which could have created a $400-billion resources super major.

But, the trader explained, because of the corporate activity, BHP Billiton might have to walk away from its Rio proposal. However, he said, the market was also speculating that BHP could now initiate a possible takeover of resources giant Anglo American.

On the JSE, BHP Billiton shed R3,50, or 1,45%, to R238,50, but Anglo American lifted R13, or 3,04%, to R440,50.

The trader also noted that he was seeing a rotation out of resources into interest rate-sensitive stocks, and there was also some profit-taking on the resources sector.

He said banks and financials had continued to advance after Friday’s 4,5% gain.

At noon, First Rand was up 31 cents, or 1,76%, to R17,91. Absa gained R2,62, or 2,5%, to R107,62 and Nedbank increased R3,87, or 3,37%, to R118,87.

Among other stocks, petrochemicals group Sasol was down R5,95, or 1,61%, to R364,05, but steel producer ArcelorMittal shot up R8,30, or 5,21%, to R167,50.

Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti dipped R6,41, or 2,05%, to R306,49 and Gold Fields fell R5,50, or 5,05%, to R103,50.

Anglo Platinum eased R10 to R1 140, but Impala Platinum added R2,50 to R295 and Aquarius Platinum rallied R6, or 6,26%, to R101,91.

On the industrial front, building and construction group Aveng improved R2,50, or 4,72%, to R55,50 and Murray and Roberts lifted R1,34, or 1,51%, to R90,06.

Diversified industrial group Barloworld advanced R4,80, or 5,52%, to R91,80 and brewer SABMiller increased R1,64 to R168,75.

Media group Naspers strengthened R6,30, or 4,44%, to R148,30 and Avusa was R2,60, or 6,34% firmer, at R43,60.

Menwhile, Business Times reported over the weekend that Koni Media Holdings, a company belonging to senior government officials, has submitted a R5-billion offer for Avusa.

Submitted to the media group’s chief executive, Prakash Desai and non-executive chairperson Mashudu Ramano, last Friday, the offer is for the “outright purchase” of the media company.

Fixed-line operator Telkom edged up R1,25 to R140 and mobile operator MTN Group was R4,41, or 3,29% higher, at R130,14. – I-Net Bridge

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