JSE off its lows on bargain-hunting

The JSE recovered from this morning’s low levels but remained in negative territory by midday on Tuesday with a trader citing bargain-hunting as the main reason for the recovery.

The JSE all-share index had weakened 1,03%, with resources giving up 1,94%, platinum counters giving up 1,78% and gold miners flat (down 0,10%).

Banks were off 0,73% and financials lost 0,79%, but industrials were flat (up 0,04%).

The rand was last bid at R10,20 to the dollar, from R10,08 when the JSE closed on Monday.

Gold was quoted at $832,35 a troy ounce from $833,70/oz at the JSE’s last close, and platinum was at $943/oz from its previous close of $948,50/oz.

“International bourses are causing the market to fluctuate. With the US having being closed yesterday, the market is still not fully directed. However, there is some direction from Europe and Dow futures are heading up,” a local equities trader said.

“Everyone is waiting for [US President-elect Barack] Obama’s inauguration speech. Maybe the markets will pick up after that.”

“Locally, we got oversold really badly in some stocks and now buying is coming in at these oversold levels. We have come off earlier low levels, that is on the back of some bargain-hunting at current low levels,” he added.

The FTSE was last up 0,86%.

US stocks are expected to open modestly lower, catching up to global indexes after being closed on Monday, said Martin Slaney, trader at GFT Global Markets.

He called the Dow Jones Industrial Average to open down 31 points and the S&P 500 down 1,8 points.

Among equity movers on the JSE Anglo American was down R2,84, or 1,43%, to R196,15 and BHP Billiton gave up R4,59, or 2,64%, to R169,18.

Petrochemicals giant Sasol weakened R9,39, or 3,39%, to R267,60.

ArcelorMittal lost R2,74, or 3,54%, to R74,75 but Kumba Iron Ore added R1,50, or 1,06%, to R143.

Platinum miner Anglo Platinum shed R8,01, or 1,65%, to R478, Impala Platinum was off R2,05, or 1,58%, to R128 and Lonmin lost R3,06, or 2,35%, to R126,94.

In diversified miners, African Rainbow gave up R4,02, or 3,87%, to R99,98 and Hulamin was off 10 cents to R12,80.

Elsewhere on the JSE, brewer SABMiller lost R1,39 to R159,48, Remgro lost R1, or 1,35%, to R73,30 and Barloworld weakened 61 cents, or 1,60%, to R37,49.

However, Bidvest was up R1,84, or 1,90%, to R98,86 and Imperial added 81 cents, or 1,56%, to R52,81.

Banker Standard Bank was down 90 cents, or 1,16%, to R76,40 and FirstRand fell 20 cents, or 1,41%, to R13,97.

Financial services group Sanlam weakened 30 cents, or 1,81%, to R16,30 and Investec gave up R1,29, or 3,31%, to R37,71.

Sugar group Tongaat Hulett collected R1,01, or 1,46%, to R70,01.

Retailer Woolies was up 32 cents, or 2,56%, to R12,82, Truworths added R45, or 1,31%, to R34,85 and Massmart gained 93 cents, or 1,12%, to R83,74.

However, Lewis was down 78 cents, or 1,77%, to R43,22.

Nu Clicks eased five cents to R16,30. The retailer reported earlier that its retail sales had increased by 11,1% for the four months ended December 2008.

The flagship business, Clicks, lifted turnover by 13,1% and by 11,2% on a same store basis. Total group sales, though, increased by a lower 6,1%.

Electronic company Ellies edged down five cents, or 3,70%, to R1,30. The group earlier reported that it had improved diluted headline earnings per share to 18,93 cents for the six months to end October 2008 from 11,57 cents in the year to 31 August 2007.

IT firm Dimension Data was off 16 cents, or 3,04%, to R5,10. The group said earlier that revenues for the quarter to December rose 13% on constant currency, underpinned by good growth in services.

But the company saw a weak performance in the US, where revenues declined while all other regions showed increased revenues in constant currency over the prior period.

Construction group Aveng was off R1,03, or 3,61%, to R27,47 and cement manufacturer Pretoria Portland Cement weakened 63 cents, or 2,20%, to R28,02. Among telecommunications groups, MTN was up 75 cents to R99,65 and Telkom rose 11 cents to R114,60.—I-Net Bridge

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