JSE extends gains on firm world markets

The JSE extended gains by midday on Wednesday, with resources and financials providing firm support and also taking direction from strong global markets.

The JSE all-share index had gained 2,08%, with resources adding 1,82% and platinum miners firming 2,29%. However, gold stocks eased 0,90%.

Banks added 3,79%, financials put on 3% and industrials collected 1,93%.

The rand was last bid at R9,96 to the dollar, from R10 when the JSE closed on Tuesday. Gold was quoted at $890,72/oz a troy ounce from $895,55/oz at the JSE’s last close, and platinum was at $951,50/oz from its previous close of $951/oz.

“Sentiment in the market is positive and that is holding us up,” an equities trader said.

“The market is holding firmly. There was no big reaction to the inflation data, most of the stocks had already priced the data in,” another local trader said.

The increase in South Africa’s consumer price index excluding mortgage rate changes (CPIX) for metro and other areas, which is used by the South African Reserve Bank for its inflation target, was up 10,3% year-on- year (y/y) in December from 12,1% y/y in November, Statistics South Africa said earlier.

This is the fourth monthly decline after the record 13,6% registered in August.

“Financials are leading the upside. They have recovered nicely after being sold so badly in the recent sessions. Global financial stocks have turned around and are adding some positive sentiment.”

He noted that the dollar price of gold had come off slightly and that was weighing on gold stocks as people continued to take profits.

“The market is likely to remain firm for the day. Dow futures are up, pointing to good gains in the Dow at the open. Hopefully we can hold firmly and build on these gains,” he added.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that the hard-hit banking sector caught fire in London trade on Wednesday with some traders returning to lenders on the belief the UK government won’t fully nationalise them.

The FTSE 100 was last up 1,53%.

US stocks are expected to rise sharply at the open, with confidence from the nearing-approval of the US stimulus Bill as well as other proposed government packages, said Martin Slaney, trader at GFT Global Markets.

He called the DJIA to open up 118 points and the S&P 500 up 14,8 points.

On the JSE, resources giant Anglo American was up R2, or 1,05%, to R192 and BHP Billiton added R6,50, or 3,74%, to R180,50.

Petrochemicals group Sasol firmed R4, or 1,44%, to R282.

Paper group Sappi was up 70 cents, or 2,06%, to R34,70 but rival Mondi lost R1,22, or 3,59%, to R32,78.

ArcelorMittal gained R3,90, or 4,88%, to R83,90 but Kumba Iron Ore eased 95 cents to R153,05.

Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti edged down 56 cents to R284,44, Gold Fields weakened R1 to R100,50 and Harmony gave up R2, or 1,72%, to R114.

Platinum miner Anglo Platinum rose R11, or 2,48%, to R455 and Impala Platinum was up R2,60, or 2,08%, to R127,50.

In diversified miners, African Rainbow collected R3,23, or 3,23%, to R103,33.

Among industrials, SABMiller rose R6,09, or 3,78%, to R167,18, Remgro collected R2,30, or 3,24%, to R73,30, Barloworld gained R1, or 2,94%, to R35 and Imperial was up R1,19, or 2,16%, to R56,19.

Banker Standard Bank added R2,25, or 2,99%, to R77,50, Nedbank put on R1,65, or 1,68%, to R99,90, Absa firmed R4,25, or 4,40%, to R100,75 and FirstRand collected 71 cents, or 5%, to R14,91.

Financial services group Old Mutual rose 43 cents, or 5,38%, to R8,43, Sanlam collected 41 cents, or 2,47%, to R17,01 and RMB Holdings was up R1,40, or 6,36%, to R23,40.

Media group Naspers rose R5,45, or 3,45%, to R163,40 but Avusa was off 20 cents, or 1,11%, to R17,80.

Retailer Truworths gained 51 cents, or 1,46%, to R35,40 rand, Lewis put on 79 cents, or 1,84%, to R43,74 and Foschini firmed 76 cents, or 1,64%, to R47,01.

Construction group Aveng put on 40 cents, or 1,51%, to R26,90, Group Five collected 75 cents, or 2,35%, to R32,72 and Murray & Roberts added 75 cents, or 1,73%, to R44.

Packaging group Nampak gained 30 cents, or 2,30%, to R13,33.

Among telecommunications groups, MTN firmed R2,48, or 2,48%, to R102,53 and Telkom was up R2,25, or 1,95%, to R117,50. I-Net Bridge

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