Fin24

JSE pares gains‚ volumes thin

2012-08-20 14:38

Johannesburg - The JSE came off its session highs at noon‚ with a continued sell-off in Harmony Gold Mining Company [JSE:HAR] stock weighing on the gold index after SA’s third-largest gold producer last week posted results that fell below analysts’ estimates.

Lonmin [JSE:LON] resumed its slide as the standoff at its Marikana mine weighed heavily on the share price.

The stage is set for possibly more drama today at the mine where up to 3‚000 striking workers have until close of business to abandon their wage strike and return to work.

“There remains a bullish undertone to markets for now as we continue to squeeze out small gains. However‚ accompanying volumes continue to be significantly lower‚” said Shaun Murison‚ market analyst at IG Markets SA. “Real commitment to a market move will become evident when we see strong volume accompanying direction‚ either way.

European shares were generally higher at noon‚ while their Asian counterparts were fairly mixed by the close of trade‚ in the absence of no real catalysts.

“The minutes from the last Fed meeting‚ due on Wednesday‚ will provide us with more hints of how close we are to seeing QE3 — or some other form of monetary stimulus‚” said RMB in a note. “The Greek prime minister will meet his French and German counterparts on Friday where a step closer or further away from a eurozone exit will be taken.”

At 12:45 the JSE all share index was 0.24% higher at 35 631.59 points‚ with gold miners down 1.22%.

Harmony lost R2.70‚ or 3.36%‚ to R77.66 and Lonmin shed R3.26‚ or 3.91%‚ to R80.04.

MTN Group [JSE:MTN] lifted 3.14‚ or 2.06%‚ to R155.89.

Among retailers‚ Shoprite Holdings Limited [JSE:SHP] recovered R3.15‚ or 2.05%‚ to R157.15 and Woolworths Holdings [JSE:WHL] gained R1.14 or 2.09%‚ to R55.80.

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