Johannesburg - The JSE share market closed lower on Friday afternoon with platinum leading the downside followed by gold miners and resources amid quiet trade ahead of the long weekend‚ with Monday being a public holiday in SA.
At 17.00 local time‚ the JSE all-share index was down 0.42% at 36 206.33 points‚ with platinum miners shedding 1.47% and gold miners down 1.34%‚ whilst banks added 1.27%.
“It appears our local market would rather err on the side of caution ahead of the long weekend. We are closing near the lows of the day‚ with weakness being spurred by resource counters. Anglo American Platinum is experiencing a major move down as it experiences more contagion from the recent Lonmin unrest as workers continue to strike illegally‚” said Shaun Murison‚ market analyst at IG Markets SA.
Leading European markets were mostly higher‚ with only the UK FTSE 100 last seen flat (-0.04%).
Rand Merchant Bank said in a note that commodities had rallied in mid-September following the announcement of a third round of quantitative easing (QE3)‚ with gold leading the gains.
“However‚ the rally fizzled quickly amid renewed concerns over the global outlook. Global factors have been extremely positive for the rand. Despite these positive effects the rand has lagged‚ negatively affected by the poor second quarter current account deficit and the mine violence‚” the bank said.
Meanwhile‚ US stocks were trading in positive territory‚ with the Dow Jones Industrial Average 0.26% higher at 16:48 local time with news that Spain is closer to receiving bailout funds cheering investors.
The European Commission and Spain are reportedly working to pave the way for a new Spanish rescue programme and unlimited bond-buying by helping Madrid formulate an economic reform plan to be announced next week‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Among local stocks‚ Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS]
closed 1.83% weaker at R440.79‚ Northam Platinum [JSE:NHM]
shed 6.91% to R28.01 and Lonmin [JSE:LON]
declined 2.59% to R80.13.
Among gold miners Gold Fields [JSE:GFI]
shed 2.94% to R107.00 and Harmony Gold Mining Company [JSE:HAR]
dropped 4.80% to R74.41.
Striking Amplats workers have been granted permission to hold a public meeting‚ their leaders said on Friday.
Amplats' workers went on strike last Tuesday‚ demanding a salary increase.
Workers at Gold Fields have been on strike for 11 days. The Lonmin strike came to a halt this week after workers and management reached a pay agreement.