World markets keep JSE firm

The JSE remained firm by midday on Tuesday as overnight gains in the United States triggered good buying interest among global equities.

By noon, the JSE’s broader all-share index was up 2,22%. Banks gained 3,1% and financials lifted 3,06%. The platinum mining index strengthened 2,99%, resources rose 1,75% but the gold mining index declined 1,2%. Industrials added 2,51%.

The rand was bid at 8,06 to the dollar from 8,16 when the JSE closed on Thursday, while gold was quoted at $931,18 a troy ounce from $928,05/oz at the JSE’s last close. The yellow metal hit a fresh all-time high last week Monday of $1 032,40/oz.

“The JSE is looking good, but it’s all on the back of the Dow. We have lost two days of trade with the US and now the market is playing catch up,” an equities trader said.

Most world markets were closed on Friday and Monday for the Easter long weekend, but Wall Street traded overnight. Its DJIA lifted 1,52%, the Nasdaq rallied 3,04% and the S&P500 gained 1,53%.

The trader said that investors in the US were reacting positively to the Bear Stearns news with JPMorgan upping its bid for the troubled financial institution to help save it from bankruptcy.

Dow Jones Newswires reported earlier that JP Morgan agreed to raise its offer for Bear Stearns to $10 a share from $2 in an effort to pacify angry Bear shareholders who were manoeuvring to block the transaction.

It added that investing pros said Monday’s gains reflected investors’ growing confidence that the Federal Reserve and other overseers of the markets were acting effectively to address the credit crisis.

“Everyone thinks that subprime is all over, but there are still a lot of demons waiting to come out, and I think it is not over yet,” said the local trader.

On the JSE, Anglo American lifted R8,44, or 1,92%, to R448,49, BHP Billiton recovered R2,99, or 1,33%, to R227 and Sasol strengthened R9,85, or 2,59%, to R390,01.

AngloGold Ashanti collected R3, or 1,19%, to R255, but Gold Fields weakened R3,09, or 2,59%, to R116,16 and Harmony fell R2,43, or 2,47%, to R96,07.

Anglo Platinum improved R5 to R1 185, Impala Platinum was R13,50, or 4,81% higher, at R294 and Aquarius Platinum shot up R7,50, or 7,32%, to R110.

Diversified industrial group Imperial increased R4,70, or 6,76%, to R74,20 and Bidvest climbed R4,70, or 4,37%, to R112,20.

Brewer SABMiller added R3,95, or 2,38%, to R169,70 and Richemont gained R1,61, or 3,76%, to R44,40.

Investec advanced R3,47, or 6,5%, to R56,82 and FirstRand pocketed 60 cents, or 3,9%, to R16.

Life assurer Liberty Group firmed R4,30, or 6,17%, to R74.

Mobile operator MTN Group was up R4,07, or 3,18%, to R132,07 but fixed-line operator Telkom gave up R1,80, or 1,29%, to R138,20. – I-Net Bridge

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