/ 27 February 2008

JSE dips on consumer-inflation data, profit-taking

The JSE moved southwards by midday on Wednesday due to profit-taking among financials as well as worse-than-expected consumer-inflation data.

It was announced that the local consumer price index excluding mortgage rate changes (CPIX) for metro and other areas was up 8,8% year-on-year (y/y) in January, from 8,6% y/y in December.

The consumer price index (CPI) for metropolitan areas was up 9,3% y/y in January from a 9% y/y increase in December.

At noon, the JSE’s broader all-share index was down 0,47% to 30 155,18 points, after being up as high as 30 691,029. Industrials fell 1,33%, banks lost 1,31% and financials pulled back 1,27%. Resources were up 0,54%, the platinum-mining index added 0,87% and the gold-mining index advanced 1,69%

The rand was bid at 7,46 to the United States dollar from 7,60 when the JSE closed on Tuesday, while gold was quoted at $959,30 a troy ounce from $937,35/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“The JSE is down because of profit-taking. It has had huge runs, so it is not unusual to see the JSE down,” one Johannesburg-based trader said.

He said that the pull-back was also triggered by CPI data.

“I don’t think anyone in the market was expecting to see a better figure, and it came in slightly worse than expected because of the high oil and food prices. But they are absorbing it now and I think that we might just see this market pick up again a bit later,” he said.

“But I still ascribe the JSE’s weakness to the fact that it has had such huge runs, especially among banks and financials, so it is just profit-taking coming in again. The money is just being taken off the table for the time being,” he said.

Among resources, Anglo American eased R3,44 to R488,61, BHP Billiton was up R1,02 to R243,93 and Sasol collected R10, or 2,48%, to R413.

Among gold miners, AngloGold Ashanti strengthened R7,40, or 2,84%, to R268, Gold Fields recovered 30 cents to R106,55 and Harmony lifted R1,76, or 1,91%, to R93,81.

Platinum miner Anglo Platinum improved R21,99, or 1,81%, to R1 239,99 and Impala Platinum gained R1,78 to R308,28.

Diversified industrial group Remgro was off R4, or 1,97%, to R199 and Imperial Holdings dropped R3,20, or 3,76%, to R81,80. Imperial earlier reported a 22% decline in diluted headline earnings per share to 510 cents for the six months ended December, from 653,4 cents a year ago. HEPS were down 25% to 535,5 cents and were 19% down on continuing operations.

Brewer SABMiller gave up R4,56, or 2,81%, to R157,44 and mobile operator MTN Group lost R2,49, or 1,95%, to R125.

Standard bank shed R1 or 1,01%, to R98 and Nedbank weakened R2,76, or 2,19%, to R123,24.

Nedbank earlier reported a 32,8% rise in diluted headline earnings per share to 1 429 cents for the year ended December, from 1 076 cents a year ago.

Headline earnings increased by 33,5% to R5,921-billion.

Life assurer Old Mutual decreased 60 cents, or 2,98%, to R19,55. It reported a 12% rise in adjusted operating earnings per share to 16,9 pence on an IFRS basis from the year ended December 2007, from 15,1 pence a year ago.

In the real-estate sector, Liberty International fell R1,17 to R148,20 and Growthpoint Properties eased nine cents to R14,95. Growthpoint said earlier that it had lifted distribution by 13,5% to 51,1 cents for the interim period ended December.

The property portfolio exceeded R24-billion, while revenue, excluding straight-line lease income adjustment, rose to R1,3-billion from R952-million.

ICT group Business Connexion slipped 14 cents, or 2,8%, to R4,86. It earlier reported diluted headline earnings per share of 14,4 cents for the six months ended November 2007, from 17,4 cents a year ago. — I-Net Bridge