/ 19 September 2008

JSE up on world markets

South African stocks remained at elevated levels at noon on Friday, following similar gains in overseas markets.

South African stocks remained at elevated levels at noon on Friday, following similar gains in overseas markets amid hopes that the United States will pump more cash into the strained credit markets, traders said

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is reported to have spoken with legislators about a grand plan to address the credit crisis, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

The yet-to-be announced rescue plan follows a series of packages to boost liquidity in the financial markets, with the latest being Thursday’s coordinated effort from eight central banks to release $180-billion into money markets.

”We could come right back down if the plan is not welcomed. For now, the party is still on, but in a controlled manner,” one Johannesburg-based trader said.

At noon, the all-share index soared 4,87% higher. Resources were up 5,15%, platinum miners gained 2,71%, but gold stocks fell 6,15%.

Industrials were up 3,88%, financials soared 6,44% and banks rallied 6,83%.

The rand was bid at 8,09 to the dollar from 8,19 when the JSE closed on Thursday, while gold was last quoted at $839 a troy ounce from $868,15/oz when the JSE closed on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Newswires reports that the FTSE 100 gained 6,6% to 5 202,1, edging higher on prospects the US government will take action on the credit crisis. Paul Mortimer-Lee, head of market economics at BNP Paribas, comments ”the devil is in the detail … there is bound to be a lot of wrangling about how the rescue plan is structured”.

On the local market, Anglo American was up R25,32, or 8%, to R342 while rival BHP Billiton jumped R18,86, or 9,66%, to R214.

Sasol gained R19,17, or 5,96%, to R340,92.

Platinum miner Anglo Platinum was up R20,50, or 2,40%, to R875,50 and Impala Platinum gained R5,47, or 3,11%, to R181,47.

Pressured by the retreat in the gold price, AngloGold fell R12, or 5,71%, to R198, Gold Fields lost R5, or 6,85%, to R68 while Harmony was down R4,63, or 5,89%, to R73,92.

Financial services group Old Mutual gained R1,50, or 13,51%, to R12,60 and Sanlam was up 81 cents, or 4,78%, to R17,74.

Among bankers Standard Bank jumped R6,12, or 7,57%, to R87, Absa was up R6,51, or 6,35%, to R109, FirstRand gained 85 cents, or 5,48%, to R16,35, while Nedbank was up R6,10, or 6,61%, to R98,40.

Elsewhere on the JSE, brewer SABMiller was up R5,07, or 2,92%, to R178,50 and Bidvest was up R2,50, or 2,36%, to R108,50.

Telecommunications group MTN gained R12,43, or 12,39%, to R112,73 while Telkom notched up 56 cents to R115,06. — I-Net Bridge