Johannesburg - The JSE was a touch higher at the open on
Thursday‚ as the platinum sector weighed on the all-share index following Anglo
Platinum’s (AMS) downbeat trading update.
At 09:25 local time‚ the JSE All Share [JSE:J203] index
inched up 0.09% to 34‚064.29 points‚ with resources slipping 0.10%‚ platinum
shares shedding 0.54% and gold counters dipping 0.11%.
Financials edged up 0.09%‚ with banking stocks and industrials
both 0.22% in the black.
The rand was firmer at R8.12 to the US dollar‚ from R8.16 at
the JSE’s close on Wednesday‚ while gold changed hands at $1 583.22 a troy
ounce from $1 576.15/oz at the JSE’s previous close and platinum was quoted at
$1 418/oz‚ from $1 411.70/oz previously.
“Market players‚ particularly in the banking and retail
space‚ will watch closely the Reserve Bank’s decision on interest rates‚” said
Viv Govender‚ analyst at Vunani Private Clients. “On the global level‚ the US
corporate earnings picture looks reasonably well so far.”
Leading European share markets opened slightly higher‚ with
London’s FTSE 100 up 0.09%.
Risk assets are finding support after US Federal Reserve
chairperson Ben Bernanke reiterated to Congress on Wednesday that the Fed stood
ready to take necessary measures to boost the US economy‚ if and when
necessary. Ongoing hope of further stimulus in China had also helped sentiment‚
Dow Jones Newswires reported.
In Asia‚ stock markets were higher‚ with Japan’s Nikkei
average ending the session up 0.79%‚ while the Hang Seng index was up 1.57% by
09:25 SA time.