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Banks pull JSE into red

Feb 06 2013 18:42 I-Net Bridge

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Johannesburg — The JSE moved from being in positive territory to close the day down‚ with banks weighing while platinums gained after the price of the metal surged due to supply concerns.

At 17:00‚ the All Share [JSE:J203] index closed down 0.25% at 40 559.67 points‚ with the platinum index gaining 1.14%. At 5:06 the spot price of platinum was 1.32% higher at $1 733.50/oz‚ from $1 708.00/oz on Tuesday.

“A slight supply problem pushed the platinum price higher today and platinum counters gained despite them not making much money due to industrial action in the sector. A softer rand also led to gains among general miners‚” said Rob Towell‚ senior equities trader at Consilium Securities in Johannesburg.

“We saw a bit of profit taking in the banking sector ahead of banking results‚ which are due in the near future‚ with Absa reporting first‚ releasing year-ends on February 12‚” he said.

European markets also lost earlier gains to trade mixed as concern about the political stability in Spain and Italy offset better-than-expected economic data out of Germany. At 4:52 local time the London FTSE was seen trading 0.10% softer.

At the same time the Dow Jones Industrial index was off 0.30% as US stocks declined as broad weakness in European markets overshadowed better-than-expected results from blue chip Walt Disney‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

On the JSE‚ Anglo American Platinum (AMS) closed 2.67% firmer at R462 and Lonmin (LON) surged 4.15% to close at R52.75.

Gold One International (GDO) slumped 6.80% to close at R3.15 and steelmaker ArcelorMittal (ACL) gave back 0.63% to R36.45 after reporting a headline loss per share of 129c for the year ended December‚ compared with a loss of 13c for the financial year ended December 2011.

Mobile operator Vodacom (VOD) dropped 4.24% to R116.20 after releasing a weaker-than-expected trading update. MTN Group (MTN) shed 3.01% to R178.15.

Paper and pulp player Sappi (SAP) tumbled 5.72% to R29 after publishing a year-on-year drop in its earnings for the quarter to December. Earnings per share in its first fiscal quarter were $0.03‚ from $0.09 a year ago. Profit declined to $17 million compared with a profit of $45 million a year ago.

Banking counter Standard Bank (SBK) shed 2.44% to R116.52‚ Nedbank (NED) lost 1.51% to R189.00‚ while Abil (ABL) gained 1.49% to R30.75.

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