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Banks bolster JSE in quiet trading

Johannesburg‚ Dec 27 (I-Net Bridge) - The JSE was trading a tad higher on Thursday morning‚ with banking and platinum counters providing some upside‚ in quiet trading as the JSE reopened after being closed on Tuesday and Wednesday for the Christmas and Day of Goodwill holidays.

At 9.56am‚ the all share index had added 0.15% to 39‚246.85 points. Banks had gained 0.53% and the platinum index had risen 0.51%.

File photo of Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton. Image: Thobeka Zazi Ndabula. Credit: ING

"The market is very flat and so are our local futures and US futures. There is no new news to drive the markets‚" said Cassie Treurnicht‚ research analyst at Gryphon Asset Management in Cape Town.

"The US fiscal cliff issue still needs to be resolved and there are three business day left to resolve it in. It seems like everyone is just ignoring everything. I think the markets are pricing in a US resolution.

"Local volumes are very low with everybody being on holiday. The South African market has been very resilient this year‚ with a lot of uncertainty now out of the way. The African National Congress conference is out of the way and our growth is not looking too bad‚" he said.

"Foreign investors have invested in emerging markets‚ such as the South African market‚ rather than in the US and Europe. But come the new year‚ January might be a bit of a bad month‚ because investors might take their money off the table locally and take a bit of profit after the good performance of the JSE‚ and investors might reallocate their money into other countries and markets."

In the year to date‚ the all share index is up about 26% in rand terms‚ supported mainly by industrial stocks.

On the JSE Anglo American (AGL) added 0.38% to R261.99‚ while BHP Billiton slipped 0.2% to R297.43.

Among platinum counters Anglo American Platinum (AMS) gained 0.88% to R443.93‚ while Lonmin (LON) slipped 0.5% to R40.

Miners Kumba Iron Ore (KIO) jumped 1.94% to R559.98 and Assore (ASR) added 1.47% to R397.48.

In the banking sector Standard Bank (SBK) lifted 0.57% to R119.21‚ RMB Holdings (RMH) tacked on 0.74% to R41.03 and insurer Santam (SNT) gained 1.29% to R187.99.

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