JSE still down, eyes Thursday’s rates decision

The JSE was still a touch in the red by midday on Tuesday, with investors growing nervous ahead of Thursday’s local rate decision.

By noon, the JSE’s broader all-share index was 0,47% in the red. Resources gave up 0,67% but the gold- and platinum-mining indices gained 0,38% and 1,19% respectively. Financials shed 0,35%, banks added 0,41% and industrials were 0,23% lower.

The rand was bid at 7,77 to the United States dollar, unchanged from when the JSE closed on Monday, while gold was quoted at $921,15 a troy ounce from $927,65/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“The JSE seems to be hovering with not too much happening. The gold price and the rand haven’t done much today [Tuesday], and if we look at the indices, they are pretty mixed,” said an equities trader.

He added that it looked as though market players were waiting on the sidelines for the local rate decision this Thursday to see how it would impact on the rand.

“This is probably going to be one of the hardest decisions that [South African Reserve Bank Governor] Tito Mboweni has to make. Obviously they have to try to keep inflation within its target, but right now inflation is coming from rising energy and food prices — which is out of the consumer’s control. What a higher interest rate does control are things such as credit spending, and we have already seen a slowdown there,” he said.

“I imagine that this is the way the JSE is going to be until that rate decision gets announced on Thursday. Even the volumes on the index today aren’t that big,” he added.

On the JSE, resource heavyweight Anglo American declined R8,30, or 1,63%, to R500,20, while BHP Billiton lost R4,81, or 1,85%, to R254,88, but Sasol added R3,43 to R405,33.

Gold counter AngloGold Ashanti edged up ten cents to R281,40, Gold Fields strengthened R1,15, or 1,08%, to R107,85 and Harmony was unchanged at R90.

Platinum-mining share Anglo Platinum collected R32,50, or 2,63%, to R1 267,50, Impala Platinum gained R1,90 to R320,90 and Northam Platinum lifted R1,70, or 2,46%, to R70,70.

Brewer SABMiller dipped R1,50 to R172,50 and luxury goods group Richemont fell 20 cents to R45.

Barloworld inched up 16 cents to R115,26 and Bidvest improved 51 cents to R121,51.

Media group Naspers was 50 cents higher at R158,50, but Avusa pulled back 51 cents, or 1,76%, to R28,49.

Bank counter Absa perked up 25 cents to R110, FirstRand climbed eight cents to R17,13 and Standard Bank was up 65 cents to R94,65. — I-Net Bridge

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