JSE recovers off earlier lows

The JSE recovered some of its earlier losses by midday on Wednesday, as gold and resource stocks started to lift the market despite the negative global sentiment that is weighing on equity markets worldwide.

Higher oil prices overnight spurred inflation worries among world markets, after oil closed above $100, prompting a global sell off in equities.

By 11.57am, the JSE’s broader all-share index had dipped 0,25%. Industrials fell 1,41% and the platinum mining index was off 0,88%. Resources edged up 0,51% and the gold mining index lifted 3,57%. Banks shed 0,77% and financials were 0,48% softer.

The rand was bid at 7,79 to the US dollar from 7,62 when the JSE closed on Tuesday, while gold was quoted at $926,80 a troy ounce from $923,75/oz at the JSE’s last close.

Asia’s Hang Seng declined 2,21% and the Nikkei dropped 3,25%, while the UK’s FTSE 100 was down 0,66%.

“The JSE has recovered. We have seen quite a push in mining shares because of the weaker rand. Gold shares are up and platinum stocks are recovering ‒- the rand weakness is definitely helping,” one trader said.

He added that investors were also eying the outcome of South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s Budget speech later this afternoon.

On the JSE’s resources index, BHP Billiton perked up 24 cents to R247,23 and Anglo American recovered R3,61 to R474,51.

Anglo American earlier reported an 18% increase in its full year net profit to $7,3-billion for the year to end December 2007 from $6,2-billion the previous year. Full year earnings per share were 32,4% higher at $5,58 compared with $4,21 the year before.

A final dividend of 86 US cents was declared.

Petrochemicals group Sasol was R3,95, or 1,01% higher, at R394.

African Rainbow Minerals earlier reported a 34% increase in headline earnings per share to 353 cents for the six months ended in December from 24 cents a year ago. Diluted HEPS rose to 347 cents from 261 cents. Its share price advanced R4,99, or 2,52%, to R203.

Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti lifted R8, or 3,01%, to R274, Gold Fields rose R4,22, or 4,03%, to R108,87 and Harmony climbed R3,89, or 4,64%, to R87,64.

Platinum producer Anglo Platinum lost R15,80, or 1,32%, to R1 184,20, Impala Platinum eased R2,95 to R309,05 but Aquarius Platinum improved R5,50, or 4,7%, to R122,50.

Weighing down the industrial sector, were counters such as diversified industrials group Barloworld, brewer SABMiller, media group Naspers and construction group Murray & Roberts.

Murray & Roberts’ share price fell R3,45, or 3,59%, to R92,55, while Barloworld weakened R2,92, or 3,07%, to R92,15. SABMiller was down R3,80, or 2,26%, to R164.,70 and Naspers gave up R3,50, or 2,27%, to R151.

Banking group Nedbank pulled back R1,79, or 1,56%, to R113,10 and Standard Bank was off 55 cents to R95,25. Standard Bank said earlier that it expects that growth in headline earnings per share and fully diluted HEPS on a normalised basis for the year ended in December 2007 is likely to be between 18% and 22% over the previous corresponding period. - I-Net Bridge

Client Media Releases

Roadshows create awareness of Sanral's youth programmes
Business models and books to abandon
FTI offers discounted Business Analysis courses
SENTECH achieves another clean audit
Makhamisa Foods at America's food and beverage show