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JSE opens firm, banking stocks lead

Feb 24 2012 10:09 I-Net Bridge

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Johannesburg - The JSE opened relatively firmer on Friday, with banking stocks leading the charge in what is expected to be a choppy session.

At 09:26 local time, the JSE All Share [JSE:J203] index was up 0.45% to 34 262.99 points, with banks up 0.87%, financials lifted 0.68%, while industrials added 0.40%.

Platinum miners were up 0.30%, resources lifted 0.40% but gold shares shed 0.20%.

"In the absence market moving economic data, I expect markets to be fairly range-bound today," said Chris Gilmour, analyst at Absa Investments.

The rand was at R7.63 to the US dollar, from R7.69 at the JSE's close on Thursday. Gold was quoted at $1 776.59 a troy ounce from $1 776.92/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1 717.07/oz, from $1 722/oz.

European stocks are expected to start up overall, following a positive close on Wall Street and after well-received economic data on Thursday, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

On Thursday, The Labour Department reported initial claims for unemployment benefits totalled 351 000 during the week ended February 18, unchanged from last week's revised total. Meanwhile, the German Ifo Survey for February also exceeded expectations.

Asian stock markets were mostly higher as investors weighed positive economic data in Europe and the US against concerns over rapidly rising global oil prices.

jse  |  markets
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