Johannesburg – The platinum sector dragged the JSE down on Wednesday as foreign investors feared that the shaft closures and consequent job losses announced by Amplats would lead to continued stained industrial relations in the mining sector.
At 17:00‚ the All Share [JSE:J203] index was down 0.08% to 39 879.99‚ with the platinum index dropping by 3.70%‚ while industrials were up 0.42%.
“The JSE was hurt by the platinum sector today. That may have resulted in foreign selling after they bought into the recovery in our market in the first two weeks of the year‚” said Hennie Fourie‚ a stockbroker at PSG Konsult.
In the year to January 11‚ foreigners were net buyers of R2.535bn worth of local shares‚ compared with net sales of R2.951bn for the corresponding period in 2012.
In 2012 foreigners sold a net R3.351bn worth of SA equities.
For 2011‚ foreigners were net sellers of R17.184bn worth of local shares‚ compared with net purchases of R36.410bn for 2010.
The platinum spot price surged to a three-month intraday high on Tuesday amid potential supply constraints after Anglo American Platinum (AMS) said it was putting four shafts on care and maintenance‚ but it lost 0.36% on Wednesday.
At 17:00 the platinum price was $1‚676/oz compared with $1‚691.50/oz at 17:00 on Tuesday.
At 17:00 leading European indices were mainly in the red with London’s FTSE 100 off 0.34%‚ and the Dow Jones Industrial index was 0.42% weaker.
Among individual shares on the JSE‚ Anglo American (AGL) shed 2.04% to close at R269.79‚ while BHP Billiton (BIL) lost 0.47% to R290.75.
Anglo American Platinum (AMS) slumped by 5.91% to close at R458.20 and Lonmin (LON) dropped 4.12% to R46.50‚ but Aquarius (AQP) added 3.72% to R10.32.
Bidvest (BVT) gave up 1.42% to R210.70‚ and Datatec (DTC) shed 7.07% to R46 on disappointing earnings forecasts.
Industrial holding group Remgro (REM) gained 0.99% to R166.
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