Resources weigh on JSE

The JSE was almost 1% in the red at noon on Wednesday, led by declines in the resource sector.

By noon the all-share index was down 0,94%, led by a 1,34% decline in resources and a 1,18% fall in platinum counters. However gold miners firmed 1,02%. Banks collected 1,57%, financials were 0,45% stronger, but industrials gave up 1,26%.

The rand was last bid at R10,29 to the dollar from R10,26 when the JSE closed on Tuesday, while gold was last quoted at $737,40 a troy ounce from $740,70/oz at the JSE’s last close.

The platinum price was last at $841/oz from its previous close of $826/oz and Brent crude was at $51 per barrel from its overnight close of $51,84.

A Johannesburg-based trader said the local market would continue to watch movements in the Dow and take direction from there.

“The JSE is losing ground again. Miners are taking strain and the biggest losers are once again the resources,” he said, noting that platinum stocks had also come under pressure.

“Banks have recovered nicely. They have really been beaten down recently and people now are realising that our banks have not been as severely hit by the credit crisis as banks overseas. This sector is not as volatile as the others. Confidence and some buying is coming back into our banking sector,” he explained.

He added that the weaker rand should have translated into good news for resources and bad news for the banking sector, but it had failed to have an impact.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that European stocks fell as investors continue to worry about a weakening global economy. Volumes have been light so far with investors nervous about the possibility of further negative macroeconomic news.

In London, the FTSE 100 was last down 1,57%. US stocks are seen opening modestly lower, as investors remain cautious ahead of CPI data [1.30pm GMT] which should give further direction going into the open, says Marko Jagustin, trader at GFT Global Markets.

He called the DJIA to open down 24 points and the S&P 500 down 5,5 points.

Earlier the Asian share market was mixed in low trading volume. Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended with a 0,7% decline, but there was some bounce back in Chinese stocks with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index adding 1,6%.

On the JSE, resources giant Anglo American was off R2,95, or 1,59%, to R183 and BHP Billiton was down R2,93, or 2,17%, to R132.

Petrochemical group Sasol lost R3,98, or 1,70%, to R230,02.

Paper and packaging group Sappi added R1,51, or 4,44%, to R35,50, but rival Mondi edged down 65c, or 1,94%, to R32,80.

ArcelorMittal weakened R2,25, or 3,42%, to R63,50 and Highveld Steel shed R1, or 1,75%, to R56. However, Kumba Iron Ore was up R4,53, or 3,25%, to R144,03.

Gold miner Gold Fields firmed R1,39, or 2,18%, to R65,19 and Harmony gained R2, or 3,08%, to R67.

Among platinum miners Lonmin plummeted R12,54, or 9,64%, to R117,58 and Impala Platinum was off R2,10, or 1,81%, to R113,94.

Elsewhere on the JSE, brewer SABMiller eased 90c to R149, Bidvest lost R2,42, or 2,63%, to R89,58, Barloworld gave up R1,50, or 3,23%, to R45 and TigerBrands weakened R2,11, or 1,56%, to R132,79.

Banker Nedbank added R2,51, or 3,02%, to R85,51, FirstRand was up 34c, or 2,50%, to R13,95 and Standard Bank (SBK) firmed R1,01, or 1,37%, to R74,80.

Financial services group Old Mutual was down 23c, or 2,72%, to R8,22 and RMB Holdings added 30c , or 1,38%, to R22,10.

Sugar producer Illovo added R1,40, or 6,21%, to R23,95.

Among retailers JD Group was up R1, or 3,57%, to R29 but Nu Clicks was down 50c, or 3,23%, to R15.

Construction group Aveng (AEG) gave up 55c, or 1,93%, to R27,99 and Group Five lost 32c, or 1,18%, to R26,80.

Pretoria Portland Cement edged down 30c, or 1,09%, to R27,20.

Among telecommunication groups, MTN Group lost R2,70, or 2,50%, to R105,20 and Telkom eased 50c to R107,50.

Vox Telecom added 20c, or 40%, to 70c. The voice and data telecoms services firm earlier reported that it had suffered a 47% decline to 4,04c in full-year headline earnings per share, stung by the R61-million loss from the Dealstream debacle. – I-Net Bridge

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