Johannesburg - The JSE opened relatively firmer on Wednesday, in line with main global benchmark stock market indices, with the key focus of investor attention today on the US Federal Reserve meeting.
At 09:17 local time, the JSE All Share [JSE:J203]
index was up 0.23% to 33,899.13 points, with resources adding 0.43%, platinum shares edging up 0.16% and gold counters firming 0.62%.
Financials were up 0.33%, banking stocks improved 0.24%, while industrials were flat (0.08%).
The rand was firmer at R7.78 to the US dollar, from R7.79 at the JSE's close on Tuesday. Gold was quoted at $1 643.85 a troy ounce from $1 642.55/oz at the JSE's previous close, while platinum was at $1 549.50/oz, from $1 548.50/oz at the previous session.
"I don't think there will necessarily be a change in the US Fed policy stance on interest rates. But the commentary will be closely watched by the markets in light of the possible additional stimulus measures," said Ferdi Heyneke, portfolio manager at Afrifocus. "In the meantime, we are seeing some bottom fishing bargain hunting in the mining shares although there isn't a strong conviction."
In Asia, stock markets were largely higher on Wednesday, led by sharp gains for technology shares after Apple's strong second-quarter earnings, although some caution prevailed ahead of the US Fed meeting, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.98% but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.09%.
European stocks also opened higher, with London's FTSE 100 index gaining 0.33%.
"Ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee outcome today trading is likely to be relatively restrained, with the risk rally struggling to make much headway," said Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank.