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22 May 2008 13:00
The JSE hit a fresh record high on Thursday, buoyed by miners on firm commodity prices and a weaker rand, but overall the mood was dampened by global inflation worries due to the rising oil price.
At noon, the JSE’s all-share index was up 0,98% at 33 230,590 after earlier touching a fresh all-time high of 33 309,820.
Resources were up 1,99%, while the gold- and platinum-mining indices were off 0,25% and 0,32% respectively.
Banks shed 0,34%, financials weakened 0,07% and industrials were 0,09% in the red.
The rand was bid at 7,72 to the dollar from 7,63 when the JSE closed on Wednesday, while gold was quoted at $927,80 a troy ounce.
“The mood is generally negative. Everything is down, but we’re seeing solid gains in Anglo and Billiton on the back of higher commodity prices,” one trader said.
Resource giant Anglo American, which together with BHP Billiton can shake the benchmark index due to its heavy market capitalisation, rallied R18,72, or 3,55%, to R546. BHP Billiton climbed R13,25, or 4,29%, to R321,75.
Synthetic fuels maker Sasol fell 405 cents to R509,95 after touching an all-time trading high of R518.
Nigerian-based oil and gas company Oando surged 45 cents, or 2,73%, to R16,95 on the back of the sizzling oil price, which smashed past the $135 per barrel level.
Among gold counters, AngloGold Ashanti gave up R8,54, or 2,78%, to R298,91, but Harmony added R3,11, or 3,19%, to R100,61 and Gold Fields was up R1,02 to R108,87, as inflation fears raised the yellow metal’s appeal as an inflation hedge, traders said.
Platinum miner Anglo Platinum shed R8,05 to R1 416,50 and Impala Platinum lost 48 cents to R355,52, but Lonmin was R8,68, or 1,70%, better at R519,68.
Elsewhere, Swiss-based luxury goods group Richemont gained 74 cents, or 1,53%, to R49,14. It earlier reported an 18% increase in diluted earnings per unit to €2,76 for the year ended March 2008 from €2,33 a year ago.
An ordinary dividend of €0,78 was declared, up 20% from a year ago.
Coatings firm Freeworld Coatings was flat at R9.50. Earlier it reported diluted headline earnings per share of 66,5 cents for the six months ended March.
An interim dividend of 10 cents per share was declared.
Rumoured takeover target MTN Group was down R2,60, or 1,63%, to R157,30. India’s Bharti Airtel could move faster to close a deal with MTN as other potential suitors line up, Business Report quoted an analyst as saying.
Among banks and financials, Standard Bank was down 19 cents to R86,71, FirstRand lost 20 cents, or 1,30%, to R15,20 and Old Mutual was flat (+3 cents) at R17.—I-Net Bridge
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