The JSE opened higher on Thursday, in line with main European markets, following the previous day’s selloff on worries about the eurozone.
At 09:21 local time, the JSE all-share index was up 0.46% to 33,121.35 points, with resources recovering 0.73%, gold counters rallying 2.10%, while platinums counters slipped 0.18%.
Financials edged up 0.18%, banking stocks garnered 0.21% and industrials were 0.39% in the black.
The rand was trading at 8.49 to the US dollar, from 8.48 at the JSE's close on Wednesday, while gold was quoted at US$1,563.15 a troy ounce from US$1,551.05/oz at the JSE's previous close and platinum recovered to $1,405.70/oz, from $1,395.70/oz at the previous session.
“I wouldn’t read too much into this bounce. It is short term volatility playing on investors’ minds. The fundamentals in the eurozone still remain weak,” said Devin Shutte, a trader at stockbrokerage, Newstrading.
The all-share index has shed 3.79% since the start of this month, with general resources the worst performing sector: Gold shares have lost 12.62%, platinums 12.07% and resources 6.83%.
European markets opened firmer, despite weaker opening calls. UK’s FTSE had lifted 0.55% by 09:06 local time.
However, Asian markets were lower on concerns over the health of the Spanish banking system, with Japan's Nikkei close to losing all the gains it has made so far this year.
The sell-off came as the Spanish government said it would auction treasury bonds to raise cash for the bailout of beleaguered local bank, Bankia.
Japan's Nikkei was down 1.05% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.54%.
On the JSE, Anglo American (AGL) gained R1.18 to R262.18, BHP Billiton (BIL) was up R1.70 to R225.50 and Sasol (SOL) inched up 25 cents to R358.25.
AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) lifted R7.24, or 2.46%, to R301.85, Gold Fields (GFI) garnered R1.61, or 1.46%, to R112.20 and Harmony Gold Mining (HAR) rallied R1.85, or 2.30%, to R82.35. The gold producer late on Wednesday announced it had entered a sale agreement with Pan African Resources (PAN) for its entire interest in Evander gold mines. The transaction, valued at R1.5 billion, will be financed through a mix of debt, equity and cash.
Northam Platinum (NHM) gained 29 cents, or 1.11%, to R26.35 and Aquarius Platinum (AQP) recovered 18 cents, or 1.80%, to R10.18.
Among other miners, African Rainbow Minerals (ARI) was up R2.50, or 1.52%, to R166.50.
In industrials, Richemont (CFR) added 74 cents, or 1.50%, to R50.
In banking stocks and financials, Standard Bank (SKB) was up 24 cents to R113.75. The country’s biggest banking group in terms of assets said net interest income from banking activities for the first four months of 2012 had benefited from good loan growth towards the end of 2011 and the ongoing improvement in new business lending margins.
It added that non-interest revenue had been boosted by good growth in trading revenues albeit off a lower base in the prior year.
Santam (SNT) gained R2.60, or 1.57%, to R168.60. - I-Net Bridge