Johannesburg - The JSE closed weaker on
Friday with all the main indices closing in negative territory‚
while the platinum price made strong gains on the back of violence at
Lonmin’s Marikana mine this week.
At 17:10, the platinum price had gained
2.06% to trade at $1‚462.50 due to supply concerns. SA supplies 80%
of global platinum demand.
“The platinum industry has been
wanting shafts to close due to oversupply of platinum in the market‚
but the industry needs closures through calculated decisions‚ not
due to violence as seen at Lonmin‚” said Ryan Wibberley‚ equity
dealer at Investec Asset Management in Cape Town.
Platinum is used to manufacture
catalytic converters for cars‚ but demand for cars in Europe is
lower due to eurozone economic problems‚ and therefore there is an
oversupply of platinum.
“We will probably see equilibrium
return to the platinum market fairly soon‚” Wibberley added. “We
had a weaker day today‚ with retailers showing big losses due to
“SA did not have a great day today
with sentiment damaged in the mining space due to the problems at
Lonmin‚ which was reflected in the lower rand today. We saw
negative sentiment around the weaker rand‚ and investors wanted to
take risk off the table. We have had strong week and now we have seen
some consolidation‚” he added.
Lonmin [JSE:LON] closed 40 cents weaker
at R83‚30. Thirty-four people were killed in a shooting on a
hilltop near Lonmin mine at Marikana in Rustenburg‚ national police
commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Friday. A total of 259 people were
arrested and six firearms recovered.
At 17:00pm the JSE All-share index
[JSE:J203] was trading 0.55% softer at 35 547.33 points‚ with banks
leading the downside‚ off 1.08%.
Among retailers Truworths [JSE:TRU]
lost R5.43‚ or 5.27%‚ to R97.57 and The Foschini Group [JSE:FOS]
shed R8.49‚ or 5.96%‚ to R134.00.
Meanwhile US stocks opened higher‚
following strength overseas‚ ahead of consumer sentiment data. At
4.55pm the Dow Jones Industrial Average was a tad higher‚ at 13 251
Elsewhere world markets were trading
stronger on Friday‚ with the London's FTSE 100 index last seen up
0.14% and the Paris CAC 40 up a fraction (0.05%).
Supportive comments on the euro from
German Chancellor Angela Merkel helped sentiment. Merkel said that
Germany was “committed to do everything we can in order to maintain
the common currency”. Her comments were seen as supporting European
Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s vow to save the euro.
Another local counters that made big
moves was Harmony [JSE:HAR] closing R5.35‚ or 6.24%‚ lower on
Friday‚ to R80.36. The company on Thursday reported a headline loss
per share of 20 cents for the June quarter‚ after HEPS of 234 cents
for the March quarter.
In the banking sector Absa [JSE:ASA]
gave up R2.06‚ or 1.44%‚ to R141 and RMB Holdings [JSE:RMH] and
First Rand [JSE:FSR] both lost just over 1.5%.
Media group Avusa [JSE:AVU] closed 17
cents softer at R22.63 on Friday. Times Media Group's bid for Avusa
was successful on Thursday after shareholders voted in favour of the