Johannesburg - The JSE was trading slightly firmer at noon on Friday in line with global markets‚ which are anticipating the outcome of Sunday’s Greece elections that will determine whether the country will stay in the 17-member eurozone.
“There have been some rumblings that international central bank support is available for the eurozone crisis-stricken banks‚ which is underpinning markets‚ but there are no significant moves‚” said Mark Wilkes‚ trader at Global Trader.
At 12:01 local time‚ the JSE All Share [JSE:J203]
index was up 0.26% to 33 914.07 points‚ with resources gaining 0.77%‚ gold counters up 0.07% and platinums adding 0.43%.
Financials were down 0.19% and banking stocks were off 0.29%‚ while industrials gained 0.12%.
The rand was trading at 8.35 to the US dollar‚ from 8.42 at the JSE's close on Thursday‚ while gold was quoted at $1 622.77 a troy ounce from $1 617.41/oz at the JSE's previous close and platinum was at $1 491.50/oz‚ from $1 468.50/oz previously.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that European stocks rose and peripheral bond markets were calm with sentiment boosted by a report that central banks were preparing coordinated action to provide liquidity if markets were roiled by an unfavourable outcome at the Greek elections on Sunday‚ though equity gains were deemed fragile.
Helping the tone was news that the Bank of England planned to flood the UK banking system with extra cash‚ partly in a bid to combat the threat from the eurozone debt crisis. The BOE announced a "funding for lending" scheme‚ offering banks unprecedented access to central bank funds if they vowed to keep on lending.
Trading in the euro was range-bound and subdued. The single currency was trading at $1.2624 from $1.2633 late on Thursday in New York.
US equity markets were therefore expected to open positively‚ following their European counterparts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average front month futures contract was up 0.3% at 12 650.0 and the equivalent futures contract for the S&P 500 was up 0.3% at 1 330.60.
At 11:46 local time ‚ the benchmark Stoxx 600 index was up 0.8% at 243.66‚ the UK's FTSE 100 was up 0.6% at 5 498.78‚ Germany's DAX was up 1.0% at 6 197.19 and France's CAC-40 was 1.5% higher at 3 078.41.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong closed down 425.54 points‚ or 2.26%‚ at 19 233.94.