JSE stays soft; miners, resources down

The JSE extended its losses on Friday morning and was over 2% weaker at midday, led by falls in resources and mining stocks.

The JSE followed Wall Street weaker at the opening after the Dow fell more than 200 points as recession fears in the US resurfaced.

By noon, the JSE’s all-share index was 2,18% lower, weighed by a 4,93% dip in the gold mining index, a 3,46% decline in the platinum mining index and a 3,46% fall in the resources index. Industrials were down 1,57% and banks gave up 0,59%. Financials, however, were up 0,2%.

The rand was bid at 7,33 to the US dollar, from 7,29 when the JSE closed on Thursday, while gold was quoted at $909,10 a troy ounce from $915,65
at the JSE’s last close.

A local equities trader said the firmer rand was weighing on dual-listed stocks, but the currency was not the only factor. Commodity prices, including oil, gold and platinum prices are all weaker.

Brent crude was last down $1,45 per barrel at $122,55, while platinum, at $1 728/oz, was down $22,509/oz from its overnight close and gold was down $4/oz from its overnight close.

“Volumes are pretty light. Turnover is currently R2,5-billion, which is very light and Anglo makes up 11% of that turnover,” said a local trader.

The trader added that resources had a good run this week, and it was not surprising to see some consolidation, especially with the firmer rand.

Dow Jones Newswires reports US stock futures were mixed on Friday ahead of reports that could show the seventh straight fall in employment, and dismal auto sales. S&P 500 futures rose 2,1 points to 1 269,20 and Dow industrial futures rose 20 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures fell a quarter point to 1 853,50.

On the JSE, Anglo American was down R12,50, or 2,96%, to R409,50 and BHP Billiton gave up R8,63, or 3,53%, to R236.

Sasol lost R14,06, or 3,56%, to R380,94.

Among gold miners, Gold Fields was down R7,24 or 8,18%, at R81,23. Gold Fields earlier reported an 88,7% leap in its full year net earnings, which grew from R2,36-billion in the 12 months to end June
2007 to R4,46-billion in the 12 months to end June 2008.

It added that it is expecting attributable production to dip by 5% in the September quarter.

At the South African operations, gold production is forecast to decrease by 13% due to a safety intervention at Kloof and rehabilitation at South
Deep.

Other gold shares were also down, with AngloGold Ashanti off R7,71, or 3,2%, to R233,54 and Harmony lost R3,54, or 4,4%, to R76,71.

Among platinum miners, Anglo Platinum shed R15, or 1,55%, to R950 and Impala Platinum lost R11,92, or 4,85%, to R233,90.

Among industrials, SABMiller was R1,55, or just over 1%, softer at R151,75 and Barloworld added 29 cents to R67,49.

Bidvest shed 1,92%, or R1,95, to R99,55.

Among banks, Standard Bank was off 71 cents to R90,19 and Nedbank was down 44 cents to R103,68. – I-Net Bridge

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