Johannesburg - The JSE was in the red in early Wednesday trade‚ with platinum miners in the lead‚ while gold miners and resources weighing.
Traders were awaiting local January consumer price index (CPI) figures‚ due at 10:00 on Wednesday.
At 9:35 the All Share [JSE:J203] index was down 0.11% at 40 686.83 points‚ with the Top 40 - (Tradeable) [JSE:J200] index dipping 0.19%. Platinum stocks added 0.78%‚ while gold miners and resources gave back 1.25% and 0.87% respectively.
“We expect a notable moderation in CPI inflation in January‚ from 5.7% year on year to 5.5%‚” Rand Merchant Bank said in a morning note. “Our forecast 0.4% month-on-month increase is driven primarily by the contribution from the food and nonalcoholic beverages (0.2 percentage points) and miscellaneous goods and services (0.1 percentage points) components.
“The January CPI release will be the first which is based on the new CPI basket and therefore the forecast risk is much higher than usual. Even so‚ we think a print of 5.4% is as likely as our estimate of 5.5%. This is much more optimistic than the consensus forecast for a stabilisation at 5.7%‚” RMB said.
“On the international front the release of US housing starts holds potential to affect global markets on Wednesday. A strong set of numbers will support risk appetite and push the rand stronger‚” the bank said.
On the JSE Anglo American was trading flat (-0.01) at R274.00‚ while rival BHP Billiton (BIL) dropped 1.94% to R303.50.
BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers resigned on Wednesday‚ as the global mining group reported a fall in earnings.
It posted a 43.4% decline in basic earnings per share excluding exceptional items to 106.8 US cents for the six months ended December 2012‚ from 188.7c a year ago. Basic EPS were down 57.8% to 79.6c.
Revenue was 14.1% lower at $32.204bn‚ while profit from operations declined 55.8% to $7.005bn.
Platinum counter Anglo Platinum (AMS) rose 1.34% to R453‚ while gold counter AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) dropped 1.83% to R236.50 and newly listed Sibanye Gold (SGL) shed 5.29% to R12.88.
Retailer Shoprite (SHP) added 1.28% to R174.71. It fell 3.08% on Tuesday after reporting a 12.5% rise in headline earnings per share to 315.9 cents for the six months ended December from 280.8 cents a year ago.
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