Johannesburg - The JSE was trading in the red on Thursday morning‚ with gold and platinum miners weighing on the local bourse after lifting it on Wednesday.
The resources sector was the only one of the main sub-indices supporting the JSE‚ while market participants were keenly awaiting mining production figures due for release at 11:30.
At 9:14 the All Share [JSE:J203] index was 0.22% lower at 40 718.46 points‚ with gold miners shedding 1.56%‚ platinum counters down 0.76% and resources up 0.2%.
Among global markets‚ Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.5% firmer and the Hong Kong Hang Seng index had made a gain of 0.67% by 9:14.
On the local front‚ the focus on Thursday will shift to President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address.
“Based on commentators and news flow‚ hopes are running very high that the content will emphasise government service delivery‚ the timely implementation of infrastructure and small business-friendly policies‚” Rand Merchant Bank said in a morning note.
“Job creation and education should again be at the forefront and it seems likely that the government will formally adopt the youth wage subsidy today.
“On balance‚ we think the statement will at least be neutral for the markets and could even be a slight positive surprise.
“On the data front‚ we look forward to today’s mining data‚ which will give us an indication of the impact of the strikes on output and implications for fourth-quarter gross domestic product. This will certainly enable us to adjust our growth forecast accordingly‚ but the data released so far, retail sales and manufacturing, suggest the fourth quarter was not as weak as we had initially anticipated‚” the bank said.
On the JSE‚ Impala Platinum Holdings (IMP) was trading 1.64% lower at R163.40 after the miner announced the launch of a dual offering of R1.775bn senior unsecured convertible bonds due 2018 and US$200m senior unsecured convertible bonds due 2018.
Gold Fields (GFI) dipped 1.02% to R91.10 after reporting headline earnings per share of 131c for the quarter ended December 2012‚ from 165c in the September quarter. For the year ended December 2012‚ Gold Fields’ HEPS declined to 816c from 970c a year earlier.
Woolworths Holdings (WHL) gave back 1.01% to R66.47 after reporting a 22% rise in diluted headline earnings per share to 160.2c for the 26 weeks ended December 2012‚ from 131.3c a year ago.
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