/ 19 March 2008

Fed’s rate decision buoys market

The JSE remained in the black by noon on Wednesday, with a trader explaining that the United States Federal Reserve’s rate cut was adding buoyancy to the market.

“The Fed’s rate decision, which saw rates decline from 3% to 2,25%, is still adding buoyancy to the JSE,” he said.

The trader said that shortly after midday, the Alsi was up 0,5%. Resources were also up 0,5%, the platinum-mining index was up 0,3%, but the gold-mining index was down 2%. Financials were up 0,5%, banks were up 1,4% but industrials were down 0,5%.

The rand was bid at 8,06 to the US dollar, from 8,01 when the JSE closed on Tuesday.

The trader said that the telecommunications sector and resources were driving the JSE.

By 12.27pm on the JSE, Anglo American’s share price was up R8,06, or 1,67%, to R491,56 and BHP Billiton had collected 29 cents to R243,30. However, Sasol declined R1,70 to R408,30.

“MTN is the highlight of the day because of its positive results. It is pushing up the telecommunications sector,” the trader said. The sector was up just under 3%.

Earlier this morning, MTN Group reported adjusted headline earnings per share of 681,9 cents for the year ended December 2007 from 584,7 cents a year ago.

Its share price had lifted R3,51, or 2,76%, to R130,50.

“However, gold is way off its highs. It is trading at $993/oz and the gold-mining index has taken its cue from that,” he said.

Among gold miners on the JSE, AngloGold Ashanti dipped R4,30, or 1,58%, to R268 and Gold Fields shed R1,10 to R127,90.

Elsewhere, platinum producer Anglo Platinum gained R43, or 3,45%, to R1 291 and Impala Platinum slipped R1,96 to R333,04.

Diversified industrial group Bidvest edged up 21 cents to R112,21 but brewer SABMiller was off 57 cents to R166,12.

Absa climbed R1,25, or 1,25%, to R101,14 and Nedbank was R3,51, or 3,07%, higher at R117,88. — I-Net Bridge