Johannesburg - Gold counters continued to tumble on the JSE on Thursday morning‚ with a sell-off in platinum and resource stocks also continuing from Wednesday‚ after diversified mining giant BHP Billiton and gold miner AngloGold Ashanti came out with disappointing earnings reports.
Only the general retailers index was in the black in early trade.
At 9:20 the All Share [JSE:J203] index was 0.55% lower at 40 204.95 points after closing 0.75% weaker on Wednesday.
The gold index shed a further 2.99% after tumbling 2.97% on Wednesday‚ platinums gave up 1.99% after dropping 0.44% on Wednesday and resources were trading 1.58% lower‚ after the gauge shed 2.64% on Wednesday.
The platinum price continued on a weaker path‚ giving up 0.67% to trade at $1‚633.00 at 9:20‚ after shedding 2.52% of its value on Wednesday‚ while the gold price was flat (-0.02%) at $1 569.98 at the same time‚ after losing 1.03% on Wednesday.
In international news‚ minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showed more officials were growing concerned about the cost and risks of further asset purchases‚ Rand Merchant Bank said in a morning note.
“Therefore the third round of quantitative easing (QE3) programme — under which the Fed buys $85bn in bonds monthly — may not last as long as the market expected. Assets seen as having been boosted by the liquidity trade have responded negatively‚” the bank said.
“Gold has been the hardest hit‚ dropping $60/oz on Wednesday alone and continuing to fall in Asian trade this morning. A rumour that a major hedge fund has been forced to unwind long commodity positions has added to the decline. At $1 560/oz‚ prices are at the lowest in three months. Falls below $1‚520/25 could generate a rout‚” RMB said.
It said a full calendar of global data could add to Thursday’s volatility. The morning sees flash purchasing managers index (PMI) figures from Europe; a flurry of US data in the afternoon; and speeches by two Fed members in the evening.
On the JSE‚ global resources giant BHP Billiton (BIL) fell 1.28% to R293.09. That adds to a 4.08% fall on Wednesday after reporting a 43.4% decline in basic earnings per share for the six months ended December 2012.
Gold counter AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) shed 3.08% to R225.05 after dropping 3.61% on Wednesday after it reported adjusted headline earnings per share of $2.39 for the year ended December from $3.36 a year earlier.
Newly listed Sibanye Gold (SGL)‚ formed by the rehousing of some of Gold Fields’ South African assets‚ slumped by 4.23% to trade at R12.69 on Thursday morning.
Impala Platinum (IMP) declined by 2.14% to R142.36 and Lonmin (LON) retreated 3.52% to R48.00.
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