JSE recoups earlier losses

The gold mining index and industrials helped perk up the JSE by noon on Thursday, helping it to reverse its losses from the morning session.

By noon, the JSE’s broader all share index added 0,62%. The gold mining index collected 1,86%, resources gained 0,35% but the platinum mining index pulled 0,96%. Industrials lifted 1,07%, financials recovered 0,27% and banks climbed 0,23%.

The rand was bid at 7,47 to the US dollar from 7,44 when the JSE closed on Wednesday, while gold was quoted at $956,33 a troy ounce from $959,02/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“It’s actually quite surprising to see the market firm. The market has improved but there is no lead indication from world equity markets why. I think it tracking the local futures market. The guys have come in looking for value and the market has seen a bit of a bounce,” one Johannesburg-based trader said.

She added that building and construction group Murray & Roberts has given a boost to some of the stocks in the rest of the sector.

Murray & Roberts’ share price was up R2,19, or 2,33%, to R96,19 and Aveng increased R2, or 3,51%, to R59.

Shortly after the market closed on Wednesday, Murray & Roberts reported a 60% rise in headline earnings per share to 216 cents for the interim period to December.

“But generally the market is firm, with not a lot of aggressive buying.”

Among resource stocks on the JSE, Anglo American picked up R4,25 to R490,44 and BHP Billiton recovered R2,11 to R246,76.

Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti shot up R12,01, or 4,65%, to R270,02 and Harmony improved 85 cents to R95,65.

Platinum miner Anglo Platinum retreated R24, or 1,94%, to R1 210 and Impala Platinum gave up R2 to R309.

Paper and Pulp Producer Mondi collected R1,50, or 2,44%, to R63 and Mondi strengthened 70 cents, or 1,19%, to R59,70.

Mondi earlier lifted headline earnings per share for the year to December to €39,5 cents from €28,2 cents the same time a year ago.

Diversified industrial group Remgro shed 99 cents to R197,50 but Bidvest rallied R3,49, or 3,2%, to R112,49.

Brewer SABMiller was R1,98, or 1,26% higher, at R159 and Richemont perked up R1,28, or 2,95%, to R44,70.

Retailer Massmart increased R3,10, or 4,47%, to R72,50. It reported earlier that its diluted headline earnings per share for the six months ended December 2007 had increased 12,8% to 370,3 cents. It also reported headline earnings before its BEE transaction up 16,8% to 402,1 cents.

Standard Bank recovered R1,75, or 1,83%, to R97,15 and Nedbank improved 20 cents to R123,10.

Financial services group Liberty Group was up R1,34, or 1,75%, to R78,09. It said earlier that its fully diluted headline earnings per share for the year ended 2007 had improved to 1 116,9 cents from a previous 949,5 cents. - I-Net Bridge

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