JSE remains firm on bargain-hunting

South African stocks continued to recover and were more than 300 points firmer by midday on Thursday with resources holding strongly as market participants looked for bargains after heavy selling in recent trade.

The JSE all-share index had added 1,74%, led by resources gaining 3,32%. Gold stocks were up 1,63% and platinum counters put on 2,17%.

Banks edged up 0,36%, financials were up 0,82% and industrials collected 0,48%.

The rand was last bid at $10,01 to the dollar, from $10,13 when the JSE closed on Wednesday.

Gold was quoted at $854,60 a troy ounce from $855,40/oz at the JSE’s last close, and platinum was at $932/oz from its previous close of $923,50/oz.

“We are following international markets higher. We are up across the board. There is bargain-hunting particularly in resources,” an equities trader said.

“We were sold off heavily in the last few days and now everyone is just looking for bargains.

“Hopefully we will hold on to these levels for the rest of the day. Dow futures are higher, so it is looking quite promising,” she added.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that London stocks stayed up with banks leading the upside on the back of bargain-hunting.

One trader, though, warned of intraday volatility and said this needed to calm down before solid direction could be found.

The FTSE was last up 1,85%.

US stocks are expected to open broadly unchanged, taking a bit of a breather on firm ground, said Mark Outten, trader at GFT Global Markets.

He called the Dow Jones Industrial Average to open up two points and the S&P 500 up one point.

On the JSE, Anglo American added R5,50, or 3,02%, to R187,50 and BHP Billiton was up R7,51, or 4,59%, to R171.

Petrochemicals group Sasol rose R6,68, or 2,56%, to R267,98.

ArcelorMittal collected R2,90, or 4,13%, to R73,20.

Among gold miners, AngloGold Ashanti rose R3, or 1,15%, to R263, Gold Fields collected R1,57, or 1,82%, to R88,01 and Harmony was up R2,43, or 2,48%, to R100,43.

The miner earlier advised that production in the December quarter would be lower than that reported in the previous quarter.

Hosting an analysts’ briefing, Harmony said in a presentation that lower output was impacted by a decrease in tonnes milled and a lower recovered grade.

The group also said that said construction of its Hidden Valley project in Papua New Guinea was 74% complete. The R2,7-billion project, which entails the construction of a gold and silver mine, is being developed as a joint venture with Australia’s largest gold producer, Newcrest Mining.

It said that it remained “bullish” on gold’s fundamentals for the medium and longer term. While the gold producer warned of lower production and higher costs in its December quarter, it told analysts and fund managers during a briefing that the rand-per-kilogram gold price has remained stronger despite “highly volatile times”.

Platinum miner Angloplat firmed R12, or 2,79%, to R442, Impala Platinum gained R1,57, or 1,22%, to R130,56 and Lonmin added R4, or 3,42%, to R121.

In diversified miners, African Rainbow collected R2,20, or 2,35%, to R96 and Exxaro was up R2,12, or 3,42%, to R64,12.

Among industrials, brewer SABMiller weakened R1,85, or 1,20%, to R152,91, Bidvest gave up R1,73, or 1,68%, to R101,27 and Famous Brands weakened 50 cents, or 3,17%, to R15,25.

However, Remgro collected R2,11, or 3%, to R72,51 and Tiger Brands was up R1,10 to R139,10.

Banker Nedbank was up R1,50, or 1,57%, to R97 and Absa gained R1,16, or 1,17%, to R100,16.

Financial services group Old Mutual firmed 32 cents, or 4,09%, to R8,14 and Sanlam was up 13 cents to R16,13.

Retailer Pick n Pay added 59 cents, or 1,79%, to R33,59, Truworths gained 50 cents, or 1,45%, to R35 and Massmart rose R2,05, or 2,49%, to R84,25.

However, Spar gave up 61 cents, or 1,07%, to R56,25.

Construction group Group Five weakened 70 cents, or 2,05%, to R33,50 but Murray & Roberts was up 68 cents, or 1,53%, to R44,98.

Cement group Pretoria Portland Cement was up 51 cents, or 1,85%, to R28,02.

Among telecommunications groups, MTN Group collected R1,50, or 1,53%, to R99,25 and Telkom firmed R1,98, or 1,78%, to R113,48. — I-Net Bridge

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