JSE flat, metals, rand limit losses
The JSE was flat by noon on Friday with banking stocks coming under pressure, but sharply higher gold stocks and a weaker local currency provided firm support and limited losses.
The JSE all-share index was down just 0,07%, with resources edging up 0,15% and gold stocks jumping 6,77%. However, platinum miners lost 1,15%.
Banks weakened 1,71%, financials eased 0,37% and industrials were flat (down 0,16%).
The rand was last bid at R10,09 to the dollar, from R9,92 when the JSE closed on Thursday, and gold was quoted at $923,42/oz a troy ounce from $881,25/oz at the JSE’s last close.
Platinum was at $982/oz from $953,50/oz at the JSE’s last close and Brent crude was last at $45,76 per barrel.
“Resources have suddenly come under pressure, but these gold stocks are moving up nicely on the back of a stronger spot price,” said a local trader.
“It is probably gold stocks and the weaker rand that are propping the market at the moment,” he added.
Dow Jones Newswires reports that London stocks came off the morning high of 4 228 but remained in positive territory.
Martin Slaney at GFT noted that Bank of England lending data was stronger than expected, although still historically low. Commenting on the data, he said “this paves the way for even lower interest rates and for quantitative easing to be resorted to in order to get the housing market moving again.”
Banks are the biggest gainers; Lloyds Banking +7,8%. A trader notes there is little corporate news, so the FTSE will be subject to moves based on market sentiment.
The FTSE was last up 0,46%.
US stocks are expected to open higher on short covering, said Martin Slaney, trader at GFT Global Markets.
He called the DJIA to open up 51 points and the S&P 500 up 4,9 points.
On the JSE, Anglo American gave up R2,50, or 1,32%, to R187.
Petrochemicals group Sasol edged up 34 cents to R272,35.
Paper group Sappi was off 25 cents to R33,50, but rival Mondi was up 57 cents, or 1,78%, to R32,57.
ArcelorMittal lost R4,51, or 5,27%, to R81.
Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti was up R18,99, or 6,82%, to R297,49, Gold Fields added R6,71, or 6,39%, to R111,69 and Harmony rose R7,64, or 6,82%, to R119,64.
Platinum miner Anglo Platinum gave up R15,04, or 3,58%, to R405,01, but Lonmin added R9,18, or 7,85%, to R126,18.
In diversified miners, African Rainbow added R6,66, or 6,01%, to R117,50, but Exxaro weakened R1,75, or 2,46%, to R69,25.
Elsewhere on the JSE, SABMiller collected R3, or 1,85%, to R165, but Bidvest was down R1,09, or 1,10%, to R98,21 and Imperial shed R1,15, or 2,19%, to R51,45.
Industrial consumer group Hudaco was unchanged at R62. The group earlier reported a 33% rise in normalised headline earnings per share (HEPS) to R9,95 for the year ended November.
Normalised HEPS excludes the closure costs of Elvey UK. Diluted HEPS rose to R9,40 from R5,85 a year ago.
Among banks, Standard Bank gained R1,05, or 1,47%, to R72,55, but Nedbank lost R4,33, or 4,50%, to R91,92, Absa fell R4,86, or 4,88%, to R94,64 and FirstRand lost 65 cents, or 4,32%, to R14,41.
Shares in Absa took a beating in morning trade following the group’s announcement on Thursday that it had acquired shareholdings in four companies listed on the JSE following client defaults relating to single stock futures.
The group said that as a consequence of certain clients failing to pay variation margins in respect of single stock futures contracts, it had acquired a 28% equity stake in Pinnacle Point Group for R931,4-million, a 16% stake in Blue Financial Services for R389,9-million and a 10% stake in ConvergeNet Holdings for R86,5-million.
Financial services group Old Mutual added 30 cents, or 4%, to R7,80 but Sanlam was off 21 cents, or 1,28%, to R16,20.
Media group Naspers lost R1,17 to R157,33 and Avusa was down 20 cents, or 1,12%, to R17,60.
Retailer Lewis gave up 85 cents, or 1,96%, to R42,50, but JD Group was up 82 cents, or 2,28%, to R36,81 and Shoprite added R1,26, or 2,44%, to R53.
Construction group Aveng weakened 98 cents, or 3,63%, to R26, Group Five lost 40 cents, or 1,21%, to R32,60 and Murray & Roberts was off 51 cents, or 1,16%, to R43,46.
Liberty International gained R2,50, or 4,85%, to R54.
Among telecommunications groups, MTN Group lost R2,21, or 2,23%, to R96,79 and Telkom eased 59 cents to R114,68.—I-Net Bridge