Mining counters give JSE momentum

Mining counters gave the JSE some extra momentum on Wednesday, pushing the bourse more than a percent higher by midday.

At noon, the JSE’s broader all-share index was 1,29% in the black, driven by a 5,45% rally in the platinum-mining index. Resources advanced 2,47% and the gold-mining index rose 1,07%. Financials lifted 0,96%, banks added 0,93% and industrials were flat (+0,01%).

The rand was bid at 8,07 to the United States dollar from 8,06 when the JSE closed on Tuesday, while gold was quoted at $944,23 a troy ounce from $930,45/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 platinum price was up $5 from its close, at $1 985/oz.

“The JSE ignored CPI data as it came out in line with market expectations. There was nothing really surprising about the data,” said a trader.

The increase in South Africa’s consumer price index excluding mortgage rate changes (CPIX) for metro and other areas, which is used by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) for its inflation target, was up 9,4% year-on-year (y/y) in February, from 8,8% y/y in January, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Wednesday.

Headline consumer prices—the 12-month rate of change in the consumer price index (CPI) for metropolitan areas—was up 9,8% y/y in February from a 9,3% y/y increase in January. It was expected to have increased to 9,9%.

“There has generally been a firm undertone for most of the day today [Wednesday],” the trader said.

She added that the market was also moving out of banks and industrials and into mining counters. On Tuesday, banks and industrial shares rallied on the JSE, but on Wednesday, they lagged behind the gains seen in the mining indices.

Slightly higher commodity prices have also been helping stocks lift higher, she said.

On the JSE, resources heavyweight counter Anglo American strengthened R18,23, or 4,03%, to R470,90, BHP Billiton was up R2 to R230,50 and Sasol added R2 to R388.

AngloGold Ashanti improved R1,76 to R258,26, Gold Fields perked up R1,18, or 1,02%, to R117,16 and Harmony recovered R2,34, or 2,41%, to R99,60.

Anglo Platinum gained R49,66, or 4,36%, to R302, Impala Platinum surged R18, or 6,34%, to R302 and Lonmin shot up R16,64, or 3,45%, to R499,62.

On the industrial front, construction group Murray & Roberts lost R1, or 1,08%, to R91,50 and diversified industrial group Remgro was off R1,46 to R196,53.

Brewer SABMiller added R2,47, or 1,41%, to R177,87 and Richemont collected 78 cents, or 1,75%, to R45,30.

Fixed-line operator Telkom dipped R1,23 to R142,77 and mobile operator MTN Group fell R2,50, or 1,85%, to R132,50.

Absa shed 42 cents to R103,70 but Standard Bank increased R1,78, or 1,98%, to R91,48.—I-Net Bridge

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