JSE in record territory on miners

South African stocks continued to run in record territory at midday on Monday, buoyed by miners on firmer metal prices while an upbeat mood in overseas markets added to the bullish tone. The market touched 33 116,051 during the session, an all-time high.

At 11.58am, the all-share index was up 1,27% at 33 116,050, boosted by a 1,62% rise in resources and a 2,87% gain for the platinum-mining index. The gold-mining index was up 1,18%.

Banks were up 0,30%, financials were 0,06% better and industrials strengthened 1,15%.

The rand was bid at 7,48 to the dollar from 7,47 when the JSE closed on Friday, while gold was quoted at $908,50 a troy ounce from $904,25/oz at the JSE’s last close.

“It’s the same old story. Resources and miners are lifting the main index again on the back of higher metal prices,” said Gideon Muller, a trader at Thebe Securities.

He added that firmer overseas markets, with all three major European equity markets posting modest gains, provided additional buying support.

The London FTSE 100 was up 0,08%, Paris’s CAC added 0,21% and the German DAX was up 0,44%, according to I-Net Bridge’s data.

On the resource index, Anglo American was up R16,50, or 3,19%, to a three-month high at R534,50, but BHP Billiton was down 124 cents to R315,84.

Synthetic fuels producer Sasol collected R7,50, or 1,55%, to R492,50. Brent crude futures were last trading 0,98% lower at $124,19 per barrel.

Among gold counters, AngloGold Ashanti was down R1,69 at R294,31 but Gold Fields added R3,09, or 2,96%, to R107,61 and Harmony climbed R1,61, or 1,71%, to R95,60.

Platinum miner Anglo Platinum gained R31,06, or 2,21%, to R1 437,07 and Impala Platinum surged R11,40, or 3,30%, to R357, the best level in three months.

Elsewhere, cellphone operator MTN was up R5,15, or 3,39%, to R157,15. The Financial Times reported that India’s Bharti Airtel and MTN are discussing a management structure for a proposed merger of their emerging-markets telecoms businesses under which they would fill an equal share of key executive positions. It reports that it has learnt that Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti’s chairperson, would be chairperson of the merged company, and Phuthuma Nhleko, MTN’s chief executive, would be chief executive of the enlarged group.

Among industrials, SABMiller was down 35 cents to R186,15, while Richemont added 59 cents, or 1,23%, to R48,74.

Among the companies that reported results this morning, Lewis Group added 107 cents, or 3,11%, to R35,52. Earlier it reported that its headline earnings per share rose 6,9% to 689,8 cents for the full year to March 31, while on a diluted basis headline earnings were reported at 688,1 cents.

The dividend per share was reported up 21,4% to 323 cents for the year, with the final dividend declared at 179 cents.

Netcare was down 20 cents, or 2,25%, to 870 cents. Earlier it reported diluted headline earnings per share of 23,1 cents for the six months ended March 2008 from 22,5 cents a year ago. Group headline earnings per share remained flat at 23,7 cents per share.

Famous Brands was flat R15,80. It earlier reported a 33% rise in diluted headline earnings per share to 141 cents for the year ended February 2008.

A final dividend of 33 cents was declared, compared with 30 cents the same time a year ago and resulting in a per-share distribution for the year of 66 cents compared with last year’s 48 cents — an increase of 38%.

Road construction group Raubex rallied 2,28%, or 95 cents, to R42,70 after reporting a 116,2% rise in headline earnings per share rise to 180,1 cents for the year ended February. — I-Net Bridge

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