JSE strong on metals, world markets

The JSE remained strong by noon on Thursday, buoyed by firm metal stocks and global positive sentiment.

By noon, the JSE all-share index had added 1,25%, with gold mining stocks rising 4,28% and resources adding 3,11%. Platinum miners were up 2,21%.
Financials edged up 0,28%, while banks shed 0,49% and industrials lost 0,46%.

The rand was last bid at 8,33 to the dollar from 8,30 when the JSE closed on Wednesday. Gold was quoted at $915,89/oz a troy ounce from $908,90/oz at the JSE’s last close, and platinum was at $1 164.50/oz, from $1 135/oz at its previous close.

A local trader said: “The JSE is still strong, trading on positive sentiment overseas. This upward trend looks sustainable for the time being.

“The big movers are among metals today with commodities stronger, which is also helping mining stocks like Anglo,” he said.

Among movers on the JSE, Anglo American rose R5,29, or 2,66%, to R204 and BHP Billiton added R5,89, or 3,04%, to R199,39.

Petrochemicals group Sasol added R10,99, or 3,95%, to R288,99.

Among gold miners, AngloGold Ashanti climbed R13,60, or 4,53%, to R313,60 and Gold Fields added R3,51, or 3,53%, to R103,01.

Harmony advanced R4,05, or 4,81%, to R88,30.

Platinum miner Anglo Platinum picked up R4,60 to R509,60, Impala Platinum added R4,10, or 2,45%, to R171,60 and Lonmin gained R4,30, or 2,15%, to R204. Aquarius advanced R2,10, or 6,04%, to R36,89.

Kumba Iron Ore was up R3,47, or 1,93%, to R183,72. Steel maker ArcelorMittal advanced 59 cents to R87,09.

Among industrials, British American Tobacco (BTI) added 61 cents to R211,10, while Bidvest declined R2,95, or 3,12%, to R91,55. Tiger Brands lost R2,54, or 1,90%, to R131,47.

Paper maker Mondi gained R1,51, or 4,87%, to R32,51.

Earlier, Mondi Group said that its underlying operating profit for the three months to the end of March 2009 was similar to that of the final quarter of 2008, with an improvement in the results from the Europe & International Division offset by a decline in the South Africa division. Results were below the comparable period for the prior year.

International management group Old Mutual was up 47 cents, or 5,41%, to R9,16. The group earlier reported a solid performance for the first quarter in what it described as significantly more challenging market conditions.

Among bankers, Nedbank gave up R3,82, or 4,22%, to R86,63. Earlier the group said in a statement that in spite of a very difficult economic environment, the group remains solidly profitable,
although at levels below the prior year, and well positioned to meet the challenges facing the banking sector.

Among retailers, JD Group added 70 cents, or 1,96%, to R36,35, and Massmart picked up R1,39, or 1,81%, to R78,39.

Telkom shed 85 cents to R115,40, while MTN declined R3,36, or 2,90%, to R112,63.

Naspers gained R2,25, or 1,24%, to R183,50, after losses on Wednesday. - I-Net Bridge

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