Johannesburg - The JSE slipped during its opening session on
Thursday, tracking both Asian and European share markets, and ahead of today’s
Aquarius Platinum [JSE:AQP] slumped over 10%, edging closer
to record lows after the platinum miner placed its Everest mine on care and
maintenance with effect from today.
The platinum miner noted that the ramp-up at Everest had
encountered challenges resulting from poor ground conditions and ongoing
disruptive industrial relations over an extended period and these issues‚
coupled with the present low PGM price environment‚ have rendered the mine
At 09:21 local time, the JSE All Share [JSE:J203] index was
down 0.28% to 34,692.51 points, with resources losing 1.09%, but gold shares
lifting 1.28% and platinum counters dropping 0.54%.
Financials dipped 0.10%, banking stocks left behind 0.26%,
while industrials lifted 0.014%.
The rand was trading at R8.23 to the US dollar, from R8.18
at the JSE's close on Wednesday, while gold was quoted at $1 602.35 a troy
ounce from $1 601.48/oz at the JSE's previous close and platinum was at $1
461.50/oz, from $1 466.20/oz previously.
“The US Fed did not go far enough as per market
expectations,” said Francois du Plessis, director at Vega Asset Management. “In
the short term, I think our market will
start consolidating around these sort of levels.”
European stocks opened lower, with weak Chinese
manufacturing data weighing on sentiment, while some investors were
disappointed that the Federal Reserve stopped short of announcing any
aggressive stimulus measures, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
The Federal Reserve extended its Operation Twist programme -
whereby the central bank sells short-term Treasury bills and puts the money
into longer-term securities - by $267bn through to the end of 2012.
In Europe, London’s FTSE was down 0.38% soon after opening.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei ended the session 0.82% firmer,
while the Hang Seng index had lost 0.80% by 09:06 local time.