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JSE drops to 4-week lows on Fed minutes

Feb 21 2013 13:49 I-Net Bridge

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Johannesburg - The JSE slid to its lowest point in just over four weeks on Thursday‚ extending the previous day’s losses‚ amid global market jitters about the US central bank potentially scrapping or scaling back its monetary easing measures.

The JSE’s main constituent indices fell across the board‚ with the resources sector coming under intense selling pressure due to its sensitivity to global economic growth.

At 12:39 the All Share index was 1.47% lower at 39 835.57 points after closing 0.75% weaker on Wednesday. The Top 40 - (Tradeable) [JSE:J200] index tumbled 1.60%‚ and the platinum and gold indices dropped 3.73% and 3.14% respectively as resources fell 2.97%.

“The US Fed minutes are the main trigger to the pullback we have been anticipating for sometime. Domestic and global markets looked stretched‚” said Paul Hansen‚ portfolio manager at Stanlib. “It will be interesting however‚ to see what the US Fed Chairman will say during the next rate policy setting meeting‚ judging by the market reaction to the debate over the bond buying programme.”

The Fed minutes showed that more officials are growing concerned about the cost and risks of further asset purchases.

Leading European markets were all weaker‚ with UK’s FTSE 100 down 1.47% at noon local time.

On the JSE‚ global resources giant BHP Billiton (BIL) fell 3.22% to R287.33‚ Anglo Platinum (AMS) was down 3.44% to R426.80 and Impala Platinum (IMP) was off 3.77% to R140.

AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) shed 3.19% to R224.80‚ Gold Fields (GFI) gave up 3.03% to R78.20 and Sibanye Gold (SGL) was down 4.08% to R12.71.

SABMiller (SAB) gave up 1.34% to R439.16 and Nedbank (NED) lost 1.89% to R187.08.

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