Johannesburg - The JSE remained weaker at noon on Wednesday with platinum and gold miners leading the downside‚ after weak mining sector performances seen worldwide due to some profit taking.
A lot of market participants worldwide are treading with caution and staying on the sidelines ahead of US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech at Jackson Hole on Friday.
At 11:55 the JSE all-share index was 0.40% softer at 35 624.07 points‚ with the platinum index down 1.59‚ and gold the sector 1.21% softer.
European markets were lower with the FTSE 100 last seen down 0.47%‚ with Asian markets closing mixed‚ but little moved either way.
"Continued negotiations in the local mining sector and weaker consumer confidence in the US economy are contributing to the negative sentiment in our markets‚” said Satish Gosai‚ head of dealing at Kagiso Asset Management in Cape Town.
“US futures are also trading lower at the moment pointing towards a lower Dow Jones opening later today. We are seeing resource stocks in London trading lower‚ so we are pricing in a lot of negative sentiment into our mining sector on the back of this. The slowdown as shown in global economic data is also priced into our miners and the mining sector is one of the weaker performing sectors globally today‚" he said.
"Market participants are waiting for Ben Bernanke's speech on Friday. We are seeing lighter volume trade both locally and internationally with most market participants waiting for evidence of possible QE3 action from Bernanke‚” Gosai said.
Meanwhile there were a lot of speculation as to why European Central Bank president Mario Draghi decided not to attend the Jackson Hole symposium‚ citing a heavy workload.
Some thought this pointed to a major policy announcement at the ECB policy meeting on the September 6.
September sees a slew of meetings including the Troika report on whether Athens is in compliance with its second bailout agreement‚ an ECB meeting‚ the German Constitutional Court ruling on the ESM‚ as well as a G20 finance ministers meeting and a Eurogroup get-together.
Heavily-weighted miners led the midday losses‚ with Anglo American [JSE:AGL]
down 1.47%‚ BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL]
off 1.03% and Amplats [JSE:AMS]
was off 2.49% after the world’s third-largest platinum producer was trying to stave off a recall of a $700m debt facility from a consortium of foreign banks as its profit-to-debt ratios reach critical levels‚ its acting CEO‚ Simon Scott said.
In other miners‚ Exxaro [JSE:EXX]
was off R6.04‚ or 3.66%‚ to R158.96‚ Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO]
gave up R13.78‚ or 2.57%‚ to R522.47 and Assore [JSE:ASR]
was down R10.01‚ or 3.17%‚ to R305.99.