The JSE remained on the back foot at noon on Thursday‚ in line with the weaker trend on global stock markets.
At 12:01 local time‚ the JSE all-share index was down 0.39% at 33‚593.52 points‚ with resources losing 0.44%. Gold shares were flat (0.05%) while platinum counters shed 0.49%.
Financials edged down 0.26%‚ banking stocks were off 0.52% and industrials were down 0.40%.
The rand weakened to 8.32 to the US dollar‚ from 8.23 at the JSE’s close on Wednesday‚ while gold changed hands at US$1‚566.85 a troy ounce from US$1‚576.45/oz at the JSE’s previous close and platinum was quoted at $1‚415/oz‚ from $1‚423.70/oz previously.
“Volumes are concentrated in very few shares‚ such as Richemont‚ with no real conviction around. Equity markets are positioning themselves for China’s second-quarter GDP on Friday‚” said Ryan Wibberley‚ equity dealer at Investec Asset Management.
“Until then‚ we will continue to drift on thin volumes.”
China is one of the biggest consumers of SA’s raw materials.
“The markets are still in downward mode‚ in the absence of any data point that might turn the sentiment around‚” said Devin Shutte‚ market analyst at stockbrokerage Newstrading. “There is a wait-and-see attitude ahead of the China’s second-quarter GDP on Friday.”
European stocks remained lower‚ with London’s FTSE 100 down 0.65% at noon SA time.
The losses came on signs the US Federal Reserve will not be rushing into another round of quantitative easing any time soon.
The minutes of the US Federal Open Market Committee’s June meeting showed that the US economy would have to worsen significantly for the Federal Reserve to embark on any further quantitative easing‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Fed officials were split on whether to act‚ how to act and when to act‚ suggesting a third round of quantitative easing is still some way off.
Asian share markets finished lower‚ with Japan’s Nikkei average down 1.48%‚ while the Hang Seng index lost 2.03%.
On the JSE‚ Anglo American (AGL) slipped 99 cents to R260.51‚ BHP Billiton (BIL) lost R1.67 to R228.89 and Sasol (SOL) lost 55 cents to R337.45.
AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) edged up R1.23 to R267.54 but Gold Fields (GFI) was off 48 cents to R99.61.
In platinum stocks‚ Impala Platinum (IMP) gave up 86 cents to R125.79 and Aquarius Platinum (AQP) shed 17 cents‚ or 3.15%‚ to R5.23.
Among other miners‚ African Rainbow Minerals (ARI) was down R3.19‚ or 1.92%‚ to R162.70 and Assore (ASR) shed R10.47‚ or 3.64%‚ to R277.51.
In industrials‚ Bidvest (BVT) lost 72 cents to R183.18.
Among banks and financials‚ Nedbank (NED) was down R2.34‚ or 1.32%‚ to R174.84 while Sanlam (SLM) slipped 18 cents to R36.22.
Among construction shares‚ Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) lost 61 cents‚ or 2.29%‚ to R25.98. PPC has announced it will issue 6.5% additional shares in the company worth R1.1bn‚ completing the second phase of its broad-based black economic empowerment transaction.
This means that 26% of SA’s largest cement producer will now be in the hands of beneficiaries including black business partners‚ staff and rural women’s groups.
Among the retailers‚ Massmart (MSM) shed R2.92‚ or 1.72%‚ to R166.98. - I-Net Bridge