19/04/2010 A generic pic of the JSE board at Sandton JHB. Photo: Leon Nicholas

Johannesburg - The JSE slipped across the board at the start of trading on Thursday‚ with platinum and banking stocks leading the fall‚ as market players looked to the two-day European Union (EU) summit‚ starting today.

At 09:24 local time‚ the JSE all-share index was down 0.36% at 33‚625.22 points‚ with resources losing 0.22%‚ gold shares dipping 0.26% while platinum counters dropped 1.19%.

Financials lost 0.59%‚ banking stocks were down 1.17% and industrials were 0.36% in the red.

The rand was trading at 8.39 to the US dollar‚ unchanged from the JSE’s close on Wednesday‚ while gold was quoted at US$1‚574.10 a troy ounce from US$1‚571.46/oz at the JSE’s previous close and platinum was at $1‚414.20/oz‚ from $1‚410.50/oz previously.

“As we head to the end of the second quarter‚ you are also likely to see the guys adjusting their portfolios‚ which reflects in the share price movements. But Europe is the centre of investor attention‚” said Ferdi Heyneke‚ portfolio manager at Afrifocus Securities.

European stocks opened a little higher‚ supported by a positive US session‚ but investors are likely to be reluctant to make any bold moves ahead of the two-day EU summit beginning later today.

Given the history of disappointing EU summits‚ and with German Chancellor Angela Merkel maintaining her staunch opposition to the idea of jointly guaranteed eurozone bonds‚ expectations for the summit are low‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

London’s FTSE was relatively flat at 5‚529.59 points.

In Asia‚ stocks were mixed ahead of the euro summit‚ with Japan’s Nikkei ending the session 1.65% higher‚ while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.24% by 09:24 SA time.

On the JSE‚ Anglo American (AGL) inched up 20 cents to R266.80‚ BHP Billiton (BIL) gained 67 cents to R227.25 while Sasol (SOL) shed R3.15 to R343.50.

AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) was down 26 cents to R283.93‚ Gold Fields (GFI) slipped 45 cents to R104.84 and Harmony Gold Mining (HAR) eased 34 cents to R78.10.

In platinum stocks‚ Impala Platinum (IMP) gave up R2.45‚ or 1.83%‚ to R131.37 and Aquarius Platinum (AQP) was down 25 cents‚ or 3.85%‚ to R6.25.

Among other miners‚ Exxaro (EXX) dipped R3.56‚ or 1.83%‚ to 191.30 and Assore (ASR) was down R4.90‚ or R1.61%‚ to R300.10.

In industrials‚ Barloworld (BAW) lost R1.04‚ or 1.27%‚ to R81.01.

Among banks and financials‚ Nedbank (NED) was down R3.24‚ or 1.88%‚ to R169‚ FirstRand (FSR) dipped 40 cents‚ or 1.47%‚ to R26.76 and RMB Holdings (RMH) shed 46 cents‚ or 1.29%‚ to R35.22.

Among retailers‚ JD Group (JDG) lifted 54 cents‚ or 1.26%‚ to R43.54 but Woolies (WHL) shed 52 cents‚ or 1.01%‚ to R50.75. - I-Net Bridge