Johannesburg - The JSE share market closed sharply lower on Wednesday after continuing a downward spiral throughout the day‚ dragged down by gold miners and platinum counters‚ following world equity markets lower due to resurfacing worries about Spanish and Greek debt.
At 17:00 local time‚ the JSE all-share index closed down 1.74% at 35 415.07 points‚ with gold mining shares shedding 4.19% and platinum counters dropping 3.66%.
“We are witnessing a broad-based correction in markets today catalysed by events both locally and abroad. Illegal strikes and wage demands in SA‚ combined with violent protests by the Spanish and Greek public are giving all markets enough reason to take a bit of risk off the table. The cherry on top would be the consensus miss on new home sales out of the US‚ generally considered a leading indication of economic health‚” said Shaun Murison‚ market analyst at IG SA.
Overseas‚ the Dow Jones Industrial Average had slipped 0.27% at 16:48 local time.
Leading European bourses were all weaker with the FTSE 100 index last seen down 1.73%.
Barclays Bank said in its global macro daily report that Spanish fears returned to haunt the market on Wednesday with the Spanish IBEX down more than 3% on the day.
“Protests in Madrid ahead of Thursday’s 2013 budget report along with rising tensions between the regional and central governments are the main drivers behind today’s risk asset sell-off. The pressure mounts for Spanish prime minister Rajoy who stated that he would formally request aid if Spanish bond yields remained ’too high for too long’‚” the bank said.
Locally shares that made big moves were Anglo American [JSE:AGL]
down 3.87% to R243.00 and BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL]
shed 2.61% to R253.43.
Amongst platinum counters Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS]
dropped more than 6% to close at R403.02 after the world’s largest platinum producer said on Wednesday it would not consider miners wage demands and said it would initiate disciplinary action if miners did not return to work at its Rustenburg operations by Thursday. Workers there embarked on a wildcat strike two weeks ago.
Among gold counters AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG]
slumped 5.14% to R283.29 after it said on Wednesday it was putting its SA operations on ice after strikes spread from the Kopanang mine to West Wits and the Vaal River regions. Harmony Gold Mining Company [JSE:HAR]
dropped almost 6% to R67.50.
Commercial bank Capitec Bank Holdings [JSE:CPI]
dipped 1.26% to R203.71 after it reported on Wednesday a 36.29% hike in diluted headline earnings per share for the six months ended August to 691 cents‚ from the previous corresponding period’s 507 cents.