JSE firm in quiet trade, seeks direction

The JSE remained firm by midday on Thursday, but with very light volumes being traded as investors remained edgy ahead of the rates announcement next week, a dealer said.

By midday, the JSE’s broader all-share index had gained 0,53%. Resources were up 1,08%, the platinum-mining index lifted 1% and the gold-mining index added 0,92%. Banks rose 0,99% but financials shed 0,06%. Industrials were 0,15% better.

The rand was bid at 7,75 to the United States dollar from 7,81 when the JSE closed on Wednesday, while gold was quoted at $897,90 a troy ounce from $888,45/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“It’s a pretty quiet day today [Thursday] with relatively light volumes, but there is a general firm undertone. Even though the Dow ended weaker, the Dow futures seem to be up and Asian markets were stronger,” said an equities trader.

She added that the market was just waiting to see what happens where interest rates were concerned.

“The market is a bit edgy ahead of that announcement and it’s looking for direction. With the volatility that we have seen in recent weeks, I don’t think the guys will want to be too aggressive before then,” she concluded.

The South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee will be announcing its rates decision on April 10.

On the JSE, Anglo American added R7,16, or 1,53%, to R475,80, BHP Billiton gained R2,07 to R239,87 and Sasol climbed R3,45 to R384,45.

AngloGold Ashanti lifted R6,71, or 2,54%, to R270,72 but Gold Fields was off 63 cents to R107.

Anglo Platinum recovered R12,12, or 1,01%, to R1 212,12 and Impala Platinum strengthened R3,74, or 1,16%, to R326,39.

Diversified industrials group Barloworld was up R1,75, or 1,55%, to R114,75 and Bidvest collected R1,77, or 1,54%, to R116,77.

Brewer SABMiller was down R2,35, or 1,35%, to R171,55 and luxury goods group Richemont declined 62 cents, or 1,34%, to R45,56.

Absa advanced R1,30, or 1,23%, to R106,60 and FirstRand edged up nine cents to R17,17.

Life assurer Old Mutual pulled back 50 cents, or 2,62%, to R18,60. — I-Net Bridge

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