The JSE. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

The JSE opened flat on Thursday morning with all indices down apart from the resources sector‚ which gained 0.26%.

“Market participants are waiting for news from Mario Draghi‚ president of the European Central Bank‚ who will soon speak about the ways forward for the eurozone; traders are waiting for any sign from his side about possible quantitative easing to keep Greece in the eurozone‚” said Martin Strauss‚ equity dealer at PSG Konsult in Pretoria.

“We have heard it all before‚ but everyone is keeping a close eye on that‚ and maybe that is why we are quite flat. We have seen the market reaching some highs in the last few days and markets are confident‚ but just waiting for news from Draghi‚” he added.

At 9.42am the JSE all-share index was flat (-0.07%) at 35‚518.04 points‚ with the gain in the resources sector offering some support‚ while banks led the declines‚ with the index shedding 1.35%.

Barclays Bank said in a morning note that economists had been debating whether the US Federal Reserve would add to its quantitative easing measures by buying mortgage-backed securities.

“This has become unlikely in the short term‚ as the string of negative economic surprises seems to have come to an end. Two days ago‚ US retail sales proved to be more robust than expected‚ and yesterday saw better-than-expected industrial production data and further improvement in the home builders’ index. Yes‚ inflation is below the Fed’s target‚ but that will most unlikely be a trigger for action. What counts at the moment is the ’real’ economy and while certainly far from booming‚ this does not appear weak enough for the Fed to act. The key question for investors is whether it is strong enough to give equity markets another boost‚” the bank said.

On the JSE Standard Bank (SBK) lost R2.39‚ or 2.06%‚ to R113.80 and FirstRand (FSR) dipped 39 cents‚ or 1.39%‚ to R27.76. Absa (ASA) shed R1.44‚ or 1.03%‚ to R138.55‚ while Nedbank (NED) added 33 cents to R182.64. - I-Net Bridge