Johannesburg - The JSE traded marginally higher on Wednesday morning with US President Barack Obama’s re-election having little effect on the bourse‚ as an Obama victory was widely expected by world markets.
Obama is only the second Demcratic president to be elected to serve a second term since World War Two.
At 9:47‚ the All Share [JSE:J203] was trading 0.16% firmer at 37 656.59 points‚ with the gold sector leading the way‚ surging 2.05% and resources firming 0.53%.
The gold sector is in positive territory after gold miner Harmony released production figures with gold production up in the third quarter‚ which is supporting the gold sector‚ while a 1% rise in the gold price is also buoying the sector.
“Our market has not reached much so far on the Obama news as world markets expected Obama to win‚ so it was no surprise to world markets.
"Markets in the East are higher and euro futures are pointing to a higher opening there‚” said Hennie Fourie‚ stockbroker at PSG Konsult in Pretoria.
“Harmony came out with solid September quarter results this morning‚ with gold production up 8% in the third quarter‚ which is helping the gold sector higher‚” he said.
Harmony’s net profit for the three months to end-September rose 388% from the June quarter to R522m. Gold production was 8% higher at 321 924 ounces in the quarter.
With Obama back in the seat‚ war with Iran and aggressive domestic spending cuts look less likely‚ while the probability of a second term for Ben Bernanke and therefore more quantitative easing have increased‚ which is rand positive.
Increased regulation could hold back a US recovery‚ which would be rand negative‚ Rand Merchant Bank said in a note.
“News from Europe has been pretty poor‚ yesterday’s final composite PMI (purchasing managers' index) figures affirming that the eurozone remains mired in recession.
"We will receive further data around midday but today’s focus is on tonight’s Greece parliamentary vote on austerity measures‚” the bank said.
“Commodities are stronger this morning‚ led by gains in the metals markets. The gold price is advancing above US$1 700/oz amid speculation that the US‚ under the Obama administration‚ will continue to extend stimulus measures to boost the economy.
"Gold ETF (exchange-traded fund) holdings are also holding steady at record levels. We remain optimistic over the outlook for the metal and maintain our view for year-end levels around US$1 800/oz‚” the bank said.
At 9:47 the gold price was 0.91% firmer at $1 727.025 per fine ounce.
Local counters that showed movement were Anglo American up 0.35% to R268.49 and its rival BHP Billiton adding 0.51% to R277.80.
Among gold counters‚ Harmony surged 4.12% to R71.01‚ Anglogold Ashanti added 2.09% to R294.43 and GoldFields added 1.49% to R108.90.
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