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Retailers pull JSE off record high

Jan 30 2013 14:32 I-Net Bridge


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Johannesburg - The JSE closed in negative territory on Wednesday as it pulled back from a fresh intraday high following a serious tumble by retail counters.

A weaker than expected trading update from Cashbuild (CSB)‚ which caused the counter to shed 8% on the day‚ set the tone for the entire sector. Gold miners provided some upside‚ however‚ after the US announced a weaker than expected preliminary reading on US fourth quarter economic growth.

Cashbuild’s revenue in its second quarter to December 2012 was up 1% from a year earlier. In the past three years‚ revenue growth for the company had been above 8%.

At 17:00 the All Share [JSE:J203] index closed 0.47% lower at 40 461.18 points‚ with the Top 40 - (Tradeable) [JSE:J200] index giving back 0.43% to 36 082.03 points. Retailers closed down 4.17%‚ while gold miners closed 0.73% firmer.

Leading European bourses were also trading weaker in late trade‚ with the UK FTSE 100 index seen flat (-0.09%) and the Paris CAC40 index 0.56% softer at 17:00 local time. The Dow Jones Industrial index was trading flat (-0.07%) at 13 943.01 points.

“The retail sector stood out like a sore thumb today due to foreigners selling their shares‚ with a lot the retailers’ biggest shareholders being foreigners‚” said Francois Venter‚ equity dealer at Investec Asset Management.

“Retailers have had a massive run since 2008‚ with the index gaining 300% up till now‚ and this looks like a correction that everybody has been anticipating‚” he added.

“Gold miners traded higher after preliminary US 4th quarter GDP figures came out lower than expected at -0.01% from an expected 1% uptick‚ therefore gold counters added value‚ because investment in gold is seen as a safe haven‚” he said.

Among individual shares on the JSE‚ retailer Cashbuild (CSB) closed 7.90% lower at R136.68‚ Truworths (TRU) shed 5.71% to R99.00 and Mr Price (MPC) gave back 5.13% to close at R117.50.

Gold miners Harmony (HAR) added 1.61% to R61.98 and Anglogold Ashanti (ANG) added 0.88% to R252.

Platinum counter Lonmin (LON) was down 3.74% to R45.00‚ while ArcelorMittal SA (ACL) gained 2.16% to R35 and Kumba Iron Ore (KIO) lifted 3% to R598.43.

Poultry producer Astral Foods (ARL) shed 7.16% to R93.95 after the company said on Wednesday it anticipated its headline earnings per share in the six months to March 2013 to drop by between 75% and 95% from the same period a year ago.

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