The reception area of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. File picture: Leon Nicholas

The JSE pared losses in late trade on Friday to finish flat after positive Chinese economic news and better than expected US inflation figures lifted market sentiment.

In China‚ the HSBC flash PMI continued to improve‚ rising to 50.9 in December‚ above expectations and showing further signs of improvement in domestic demand.

At 5pm‚ the all share index closed flat (-0.01) at 38‚674.48 points‚ with the top 40 index also flat (-0.03%) at 34‚277.21 points‚ with miners leading the downside due to profit taking after a good run this week‚ while banks made fair gains.

“We had a quiet day on the JSE‚ but saw a bit of a turnaround after a good Chinese data print and US industrial production figures advanced by a better than expected 1.1% in November‚” a local trader said.

“CPI out of the US was lower than expected so the FED’s very accommodative monetary policy is appropriate‚” he added.

At 5.17pm local time the Dow Jones Industrial index was flat (-0.02%).

On the JSE‚ Anglo American (AGL) closed down 1.51% at R255.08‚ while BHP Billiton (BIL) added 0.66% to R291.16.

Aquarius Platinum (AQP) closed 10.32% higher at R6.84 after announcing on Friday that Mimosa Investment Holdings‚ which is held jointly in a 50:50 partnership with Impala Platinum Holdings Limited‚ had concluded a term sheet in respect of a proposed indigenisation implementation plan (IIP) with the Zimbabwean government.

The sale consideration for the 51% of Mimosa Holdings to the indigenous parties is US$550 million (50% attributable to Aquarius)‚ based on an agreed fair market value for Mimosa Holdings of US$1.078 billion.

Impala Platinum (IMP) shed 4.25% to close at R155.98.

AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) gave up 1.48% to R258.92 and Coal of Africa (CZA) dropped 3.64% to R1.59.

In the banking sector Standard Bank (SBK) improved 2.54% to R114.08 and Nedbank (NED) gained 2.22% to R184‚ while FirstRand (FSR) gave up 1.26% to R29.70.

Aveng (AEG) fared worst of the construction sector‚ down 2.49% to R29.74 and Group Five (GRF) dropped 2% to R27.88. - I-Net Bridge