Johannesburg - The JSE edged up in the opening session on
Tuesday‚ in cautious trade ahead of the US Federal Reserve chairperson Ben
Bernanke’s congressional hearing.
Equity markets will be looking for any hints on possible
additional monetary easing.
At 09:21 local time‚ the JSE All Share [JSE:J203] index was
up 0.16% at 33‚781.02 points‚ with gold miners gaining 0.40%‚ platinum shares
nudging up 0.23% while resources counters were flat (0.01%.)
Financials lifted 0.22%‚ banking stocks rose 0.54% and
industrials were 0.26% in the black.
The rand was trading at R8.18 to the US dollar‚ from R8.22
at the JSE’s close on Monday‚ while gold changed hands at $1 593.32 a troy
ounce from $1 591.69/oz at the JSE’s previous close and platinum was quoted
at $1 426.50/oz‚ from $1 417.50/oz previously.
“Aside from Fed chairperson Ben Bernanke’s congressional
hearing‚ markets will keep their eyes on US corporate earnings data today‚”
said Francois du Plessis‚ director at Vega Asset Management.
European stocks started off slightly higher‚ but the
London’s FTSE 100 was flat.
In Asia‚ stock markets were mostly higher‚ with Japan’s
Nikkei average ending the session up 0.35%‚ while the Hang Seng index was up
1.62% by 09:21 SA time.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that not all commentators were
convinced Bernanke would signal further stimulus measures‚ citing RBC Capital
Markets. “The Federal Open Market Committee minutes provided little clarity
about the prospects for additional easing on August 1‚ and as such Bernanke
would need to give a stronger signal today if that were the plan. If he does
not‚ RBC will push out the timing of QE3 from August to September.”