Johannesburg - The JSE closed lower on
Wednesday with the heavy-weighted resources and gold counters placing
most of the drag on the bourse‚ with profit taking seen after the
JSE reached highs on Tuesday.
Markets are now awaiting the release of
the minutes to the Federal Reserve’s latest policy-setting
committee meeting‚ which are due at 20:00 local time on Wednesday.
Clues will be sought therefrom on how close the Fed might be to
providing additional monetary stimulus.
At 17:00 local time the all-share index
was down 0.60% at 35 616.71 points‚ with resources down 1.25% and
gold counters shedding 0.82%.
International markets slipped with
Asian markets closing weaker and the UK FTSE last seen trading 1.24%
The platinum price extended its
previous gains to R1 517.50 per ounce‚ partly due to platinum miner
Lonmin [JSE:LON] not being back in production on Wednesday. Also the
Lonmin’s woes have spread to other platinum miners in SA. Clashes
between police and striking mine workers left 34 dead last Thursday
at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in Rustenburg.
At least 500 workers of the Royal
Bafokeng Platinum [JSE:RBP] mine‚ outside Rustenburg staged a
protest on Wednesday‚ demanding salaries of R12 500 per month
across the board. The counter closed unchanged at R47.00. Amplats
[JSE:AMS] workers on Wednesday also demanded higher wages‚ after
Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP] and Aquarius Platinum [JSE:AQP]
workers had done the same. Market participants were concerned that
platinum supplies from SA would be further negatively affected‚
with SA supplying about 80% of world platinum.
Lonmin closed R3.03‚ or 3.66%‚
lower at R79.80. The Association of Mineworkers and Construction
(Amcu) leader Joseph Mathunjwa on Wednesday said the union - which
was leading the illegal strike at Lonmin - had not been able to meet
management to discuss the strike.
Elsewhere‚ we saw a major decline in
Japanese trade figures that were released on Wednesday‚ with trade
between Japan and China dropping significantly.
“Chinese demand has dipped which is
more bad news for our commodities‚ as prices are likely to fall‚”
said Drikus Combrinck‚ portfolio manager at PSG Konsult‚ in
“There was some profit taking today
after a good couple of trading days. We need more solid action from
the European Central Bank and more substance with regards to their
buying of Spanish and Italian bonds in future. Good US jobless claims
and home sales figures out tomorrow are also needed. We need some
positive surprises to give the market direction‚” he added.
Meanwhile US stocks opened a tad lower‚
trailing losses in Asia and Europe‚ amid investor jitters over
coming meetings between Greek and eurozone leaders‚ and ahead of
the release of minutes to the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting.
At 16:46 local time the Dow Jones
Industrial Average had slipped 27 points‚ to 13 176.22 points.
Investors are awaiting talks between
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and eurozone leaders this week.
Samaras was expected to ask for more time to meet austerity measures
required for the country to receive bailout funds. He will meet with
Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wendesday‚ German Chancellor
Angela Merkel on Friday and French President Francois Hollande on
Saturday‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Local shares that drew attention were
Anglo American [JSE:AGL] shedding R6.52‚ or 2.53%‚ at R250.86 and
BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL] losing R2.35 to R254.85 after reporting on
Wednesday basic earnings per share of 289.6 US cents for the year
ended June 2012‚ down 32.5% from 429.1 cents a year ago.
Massmart [JSE:MSM] closed 50c softer at
R169.50. The retailer reported a 34.4% rise in diluted headline
earnings per share to 552.3 cents for the 52 weeks ended June 24 from
410.8 cents a year ago.
Imperial [JSE:IPL] closed R3.33‚ or
1.72%‚ stronger at R197.43 after reporting a 14% rise in headline
earnings per share to 1‚566 cents for the year ended June.
Freight company Grindrod [JSE:GND]
jumped 90c‚ or 6.62%‚ to R14.50 after the company reported a 25%
increase in headline earnings per share to 69.4 cents for the six
months ended June 2012 from 55.7 cents a year ago.
Manufacturer‚ recycler and
distributor of plastic and paper packaging products‚ Transpaco
Limited [JSE:TPC]‚ closed 95 cents‚ or 5.78%‚ lower at R15.50
after reporting an increase in diluted headline earnings per share to
201.1 cents from 2011’s 195.7 cents.
Shares in 1time [JSE:1TM] dropped 7
cents‚ or 50%‚ to close at 7 cents. The no-frills airline
operator announced late on Tuesday it was applying for business
rescue due to financial distress at its subsidiary companies.
Business support services group
Mvelaserve [JSE:MVS] shed 35 cents‚ or 4.09%‚ to R8.20 after the
company said on Wednesday it expected its headline earnings per share
in the year ended June 2012 to decline to between 60 cents and 70
cents‚ compared with 159.8 cents in the same period a year ago.
Health insurer Discovery Holdings
[JSE:DSY] shed R1.11‚ or 1.89%‚ to R57.59. The company said on
Wednesday it expected its normalised headline earnings per share in
the year ended June 2012 to between 10% and 20% higher than in the
same period a year earlier.