JSE closes near its all time high

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Independent Newspapers

The JSE. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

The JSE ended the week on a very good note after starting at a severely depressed level at the beginning of the week‚ all on the back of market expectations that European leaders will address the eurocrisis. Commodities were up‚ oil was higher‚ copper gained and the euro recovered.

The JSE all share index closed up 382 points‚ or 1.11%‚ at 34‚671 points on Friday.

The focus next week will be on central banks‚ with the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) rate announcement on Wednesday and the European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England announcements next Thursday.

“We had a very strong trading day despite bad results from Anglo American ... we are trading almost at the all-time high of 34‚788 points that was reached on 20 June this year‚” said David Shapiro‚ director at Sasfin Securities.

“We were trading sideways for most of the year this year and now we are 140 points‚ or 0.5% away from the all-time high. And this despite Anglo that makes up 6 or 7% of the total all share index‚ and despite the huge drop in its shareprice of almost 5% today‚” he said.

The US gross domestic product figure was not that great and shows that economic economic momentum in the US is slowing‚” he added.

“We can expect a bit more out of the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting next week with Mario Draghi‚ president of the ECB‚ that will probably give more specific information about saving the eurozone‚” he said.

US economic growth pulled back further in the second quarter to an annual rate of 1.5%‚ but better than expectations of 1.3%‚ as consumer spending slowed.

US stocks climbed after the open on Friday‚ extending Thursday’s gains‚ after optimism spread about support for the eurozone and investors digested second-quarter GDP data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 80.22 points‚ or 0.62%‚ to 12‚968.15 points.

In Europe‚ the FTSE 100 initially gained on the better-than-expected release US growth figure‚ but those gains were quickly sold into as investors tried to gauge what the release would mean in terms of a potential quantative easing (QE3) from the Federal Reserve‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

At 16:49 local time‚ the FTSE 100 was 46 points‚ or 0.84%‚ higher at 5‚619 points.

Banking group Barclays soared more than 7% after posting better-than-expected first half results.

Meanwhile Spain’s deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria on Friday said the country would not seek a full bailout‚ similar to those given to Greece‚ Portugal and Ireland‚ on top of a EUR100 billion ($121 billion) aid package secured for the banking sector. That was after she was asked if Spain would ask Europe's bailout fund to buy Spanish bonds to help lower the country's borrowing costs. Spain's 10-year borrowing costs hit euro-era highs this week above 7%‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

On the JSE‚ local big movers on the day were Anglogold Ashanti (ANG))‚ up R10‚18‚ or 3.68%‚ at R286.50; Goldfields (GFI) gained R108‚16‚ or 3.47%‚ to R108.16 and Harmony (HAR) added R2.49‚ or 3.12%‚ at R82.24.

Platinum counters also showed good gains‚ with Impala Platinum (IMP) up R3.52‚ or 2.75%‚ to R131.52‚ Northam Platinum (NHM) gaining 70 cents‚ or 2.78%‚ to R25.90 and Amplats (AMS) added R8.40‚ or 2.06%‚ at R416.90.

Anglo American (AGL) took a beating and slumped R12.46‚ or 4.87%‚ to R243.35‚ after the resources giant posted a 38% decline in group operating profit to US$3.7bn in the six months to June 2012‚ compared with the same period a year earlier‚ while profit attributable to equity shareholders declined 70% to $1.21bn.

Banking counter Absa (ASA) rose R4.00‚ or 2.95% to R139‚70 after the bank reported a 6% decline in diluted headline earnings per share to 602.3 cents in the six months ended June 2012‚ from 638.5 cents a year ago.

Consumer group AVI (AVI) closed up 39 cents at R57.10 after it said all outstanding conditions for the acquisition of Green Cross Manufacturers‚ Green Cross Retail Holdings and Green Cross properties have been fulfilled. - I-Net Bridge


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