Johannesburg - The JSE extended its losses in
midday trade on Friday, tracking negative global sentiment amid the euro
area debt worries.
However, local construction shares rallied on the back of the
infrastructure plan outlined in the state of the nation speech last
At 12:04 local time, the JSE All Share [JSE:J203]
index was down 0.68% to
34 036.53 points, with the resource counters sliding 1.34%; the gold
index dipped 0.51% and platinum shares lost 1.27%.
Industrials edged down 0.23%, financials shaved off 0.53%, and banks shed 0.75%.
The rand was weaker at 7.67 to the US dollar, from 7.58 at the
JSE's close on Thursday. Gold was quoted at $1 719.79 a troy ounce
from $1 749.30/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1 649/oz, from $1 669/oz before.
"Foreigners continue to sell shares and bonds, which is
reflected in the rand/dollar weakness. Greece's debt trouble remains the
catalyst," said Graham Ledbitter, portfolio manager at BoE Private
Basil Read Holdings (BSR) led the construction index, rallying
nearly 4% after President Jacob Zuma unveiled an infrastructure
The first project is a plan to develop and integrate rail,
road and water infrastructure, centred around two main areas in Limpopo:
the Waterberg in the Western part of the province and Steelpoort in the
This is intended to unlock the mineral belt of coal, platinum,
palladium, chrome and other minerals, in order to facilitate increased
mining as well as stepped-up beneficiation of minerals.
"Using the developments in Limpopo as a base, we will expand
rail transport in Mpumalanga, connecting coalfields to power stations,"
the president said.
The second project will be to improve the movement of goods
and economic integration through a Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistics
and industrial corridor.
"We saw the same sort of rally in these shares just before the
2010 Soccer World Cup. This is a big boost for the sector," said Nick
Kunze, head of dealing at BJM Private Clients Services.
Zuma praised Transnet's market demand strategy that entails
investments of over more than R300 billion over the next three years.
European stock markets fell on Friday after eurozone chiefs
withheld approval for a second Greek bailout and demanded fresh proof
from Greece's political leaders that they were ready to deliver on past
and new pledges, Dow Jones Newswires reports.
Eurozone finance ministers said Greece's parliament must
approve new austerity policies and a package of economic overhauls
before the eurozone can back a EUR130 billion loan deal for the
London's FTSE 100 fell 0.24% to 5,881.39 points at noon, local time.
Most Asian markets closed lower on Friday, with Japan's Nikkei
Stock Average shedding 0.61% to 8,947.17 points, while China's Shanghai
Composite rose 0.1% to 2,351.98 points.